Three Generations of THP

Newsletter issue: 
December 2013
News item date: 
Monday, December 9, 2013

By Colby Bowker (THP VP and Chief Communications Officer)

Ed and Jan Mauro pictured with their daughter Diane Sullivan and her daughter Melissa.

The Haitian Project (THP) benefactors are not a fickle group; they are deeply committed to the mission and inspire the same in others.  In fact, THP benefactors often resemble loyal university alumni in terms of their sense of stewardship and devotion.  They make a long term commitment to providing young men and women in Haiti with the same opportunity that made a difference in their own lives – education.  The growing legacy of the Mauro family is a great example of this.

The Mauros trace their involvement back to Janet (Jan) and Edmund (Ed) Mauro.  Jan was one of the Project’s founders and served on THP’s Board of Directors for over a decade.  In the Project’s early years, Jan and Ed’s personal support was significant.  They started the clambake, THP’s annual fall fundraiser in Rhode Island, and personally hosted it at their home in Narragansett.   Jan passed away in 2008 but her service on the board in addition to her great advocacy and support helped lay the foundation for where the Project is today. 

“It was in my first years with THP that Jan so graciously supported our work with her own generous giving and the clambakes” said THP President, Deacon Patrick Moynihan.  “She helped me develop the confidence I have today in THP's ability to thrive.  I think of her often when walking around the campus and taking in how much we have grown over the years."

Jan’s commitment drew in those around her.  Her daughter Diane Sullivan’s first memory of THP is her mother telling her about the school’s first year (1987).  “My mother was excited for the first class to begin and excited for the kids to have the opportunity for an education,” she said.  Diane and her father, Ed, have continued the family’s support of THP.

Recently, the Mauros decided to endow a scholarship in Jan’s memory which will provide support for LCS grads to attend university in Haiti.  “This gift was the perfect fit for Jan’s quiet largess,” Ed remarked.  “Jan had a great passion for the Project; she still would if she were alive today.  So our family is most blessed to be able to give this for Haitian youth in the name of Jan Mauro.”  Diane is confident that her mother’s involvement with THP meant the most of all her charitable works, recalling how proud her mother was when the first class graduated from LCS in 1995.

THP’s mission also resonates with Diane who notes that “Haitians need to continue to educate their children, build a community they are proud to be a part of and give back to society.”  She believes that it is better for Haiti to move forward through grassroots efforts than through elaborate top-down initiatives. 

To her children and grandchildren, Jan’s actions always spoke louder than her words.  “She wanted us to appreciate what we have and to give back to others,” Diane said.  With the recent support of Diane’s own daughter, Melissa Martin, the family’s support spans an impressive three generations.

The Mauro family’s ongoing commitment mirrors THP’s own long-term involvement in systemic change in Haiti.  The perceptiveness of THP’s founders and benefactors, like Jan and her family, manifested clearly in the Project’s unchanging mission, is what makes THP so successful.  It is about long-term investment in human capital through education, and it is about giving back.