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A $1 million gift from a Vincentian community will be used to establish an endowed scholarship fund at Niagara University, officials announced Tuesday.

The gift is from the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission and represents proceeds from the sale of a retreat house in Michigan, according to a university spokesman.

It will help the university recognize and offer new scholarships to incoming students in good academic standing and with a demonstrated affinity, through participation in service activities in high school, to the university’s Catholic Vincentian mission. The scholarship also will be available for incoming freshmen or current Niagara students who are part of the international Vincentian community.

Immediate plans for a portion of the gift include Vincentian Heritage Grants, to be awarded to students from Catholic high schools based on financial need.

“This is a wonderful day for Niagara University and the eternal mission of St. Vincent de Paul,” the Rev. James J. Maher, president of Niagara University, said in a statement. The Vincentian community founded the university in 1856.

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