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Loyola University New Orleans Celebrates $10 Million Gift

Loyola press release - December 4, 2017

Beloved community member and longtime administrative assistant wills $10 million estate to Loyola, creating endowments for new scholarships

This holiday season, Loyola University New Orleans is thrilled to announce a $10 million legacy gift that will bring new scholarships enjoyed for generations to come. The entire university community rejoices in this generous and carefully planned gift, willed to Loyola by beloved community member and longtime former staff member, Maedell Hoover Braud.

Maedell Hoover Braud passed away earlier this year. A strong believer in the value of a Jesuit education, Maedell spent years building the gift that will now establish the Murphy-Braud Scholarship Endowment Funds at Loyola. Named for her late husband’s family, the gift will create $5 million in a new scholarship endowment for undergraduates and $5 million in a new scholarship endowment for law students. These scholarships will be awarded, based on students’ financial need and academic strength, starting in Fall 2019.

Maedell’s $10 million gift also puts Loyola’s Faith in the Future capital campaign at $81.1 million of its $100 million goal. Following six record-setting years, the Faith in the Future campaign is the most ambitious and successful fundraising campaign in university history.

“Maedell Hoover Braud brought nearly a lifetime of blessings to Loyola, where our motto is ‘men and women with and for others.’ Her generosity of spirit, loving nature, and commitment to service have always been evident through her work here on campus and her many good works throughout the community,” said Loyola University New Orleans President the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D. “With this final legacy gift to Loyola, Maedell Hoover Braud has ensured scholarships for undergraduate and law students that will be enjoyed for generations. Our entire community is grateful for her generosity and her longstanding belief in and support of Loyola.”

Maedell was a strong presence at Loyola for almost 70 years. She spent her entire career working for Loyola, from 1948 until her retirement in 1980, as Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Arts and Sciences. In 1971, Loyola honored Maedell for her many years of dedicated service and awarded her an Honorary Master of Education in Administration. Her passion for Loyola continued into her retirement years. For many years following her retirement, Maedell attended nearly every Loyola special event. In recognition of her generous support over the years of Loyola and its giving campaigns, she was inducted into the Lifetime Giving Society of St. Ignatius. Until now, Maedell’s most cherished gift was her donation of three rooms in Loyola’s J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library in honor of her beloved parents.

“Maedell was extremely dedicated to the Jesuits, especially the deans she worked for,” recalled Loyola President Emeritus James C. Carter, S.J., Ph.D. “She was very professional, and extremely helpful. Anytime I had a problem as an advisor, I could call her and get an answer. If I was faced with a complicated case, she had a solution. She never left you with the feeling that you were imposing on her time. She was there to help.”

Maedell was the beloved wife of Sidney Francis Braud, who preceded her in death. Sidney was Jesuit-educated – he graduated from Jesuit High School New Orleans and received his undergraduate and law degrees at Loyola. Sidney’s grandfather John Henry Murphy held a valuable patent on sugar cane refining machinery; Mr. Murphy owned and operated a large boiler factory on Magazine Street and served as president of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad for over 20 years. It was Sidney and Maedell’s last wishes that the Loyola scholarships established by her will be named in memory of Sidney’s mother, father, and grandfather. Even in this amazing gift, their thoughts were with others.

Maedell’s philanthropy benefitted many Jesuit institutions beyond Loyola. Maedell was generous in her gifts to the Jesuit Novitiate in Grand Coteau and to the Jesuit Province.

Maedell was a lifelong resident of New Orleans and a devout parishioner of St. Pius X Catholic Church, where she was an active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Guild. She enjoyed entertaining and dining at the Southern Yacht Club, and she celebrated her 85th birthday, in her inimitable style, at the club with family, friends, and a special birthday performance from the 610 Stompers. Maedell was a longtime member of the Krewe of Iris, the Lakeshore Women's Club, and the Lakeshore Garden Club. Her generous and fun-loving nature is perhaps best summed up in her familiar greeting: “I am so glad you got to see me!”

“Loyola was everything to Maedell. It really was,” said Mary Ellen Arceneaux, a close friend who worked side by side with Maedell in the dean’s office from 1956 until Maedell’s retirement. “When you work that long at an institution, it’s a relationship … She was a very smart woman and a very, very good worker … She knew all of the faculty – they were in and out all the time. She was very involved and had a very personal relationship with all of them ... She was a wonderful person.”

Loyola University New Orleans will remember Maedell Braud with a special recognition at the university’s annual 1912 Society Dinner, which runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 at the Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel. This will be the first 1912 Society Dinner ever without Maedell. All members of the community are invited to attend and may purchase tickets here.