Ask Jim and Jane McCabe why they endowed a scholarship fund at Bellarmine, and you’ll get a heartfelt answer.
“You can be so blessed, but if you don’t give back something, there’s no use having anything,” says Jane McCabe. “We just wanted to give back.”
Jane and Jim McCabe, a 1957 Bellarmine graduate, are giving back by creating a scholarship to help a full-time student with a strong work ethic and a strong desire to earn a degree. The guidelines specify that preference will be given to a single parent with children, and there’s a heartfelt reason for that, too.
“I was a single mom and would have loved to have gone to college,” Jane says. “But I was not able to. I wanted my son to go to St. X and for him to go to college, and you just don’t have money for everything. To be able to help another single mother go to college and realize a dream and better herself for her and her family was just what I wanted to do.”
Jane did take some night courses in accounting at Bellarmine. Her young son, Michel Lentz, accompanied her to her classes and did his homework while she was taking notes. “He feels close to Bellarmine, too,” she says.
Jim’s son, Michael McCabe, graduated from Bellarmine in the mid-’80s. Like his father, he is musically inclined. Michael McCabe played in the Bellarmine pep band, while Jim played the saxophone in The Belle-aires, Bellarmine’s orchestra, for four years and became the group’s leader for a fifth when it was between directors. Jim has served on the alumni Board of Directors and was named Alumnus of the Year in 1984.
Jane’s twin brothers, Daniel and David Schoenbaechler, are also Bellarmine grads.
Jane McCabe worked for L&N Railroad and CSX as a legal assistant before retiring in 1998. Jim McCabe was a vice president for National City Bank in the trust department and retired in 1995. The couple now divides their time between Louisville and their winter home in a retirement community in Ocala, Fla.
“We want to give back some of the blessings we’ve received,” Jane McCabe says. “We love Bellarmine, and we hope our fund can grow.”