SI Grandparent Tom Culligan Creates New Scholarship
Tom Culligan, made a donation to SI in honor of his late son, James, and granddaughter, Katyln a student at SI.
SI grandparent Tom Culligan has taken his love for golf and turned it into a steppingstone to help inner-city kids make their way towards a better life.
Similarly, he has tailored the newly established Thomas J. Culligan Scholarship at SI to reflect his interest in athletics and academics and to honor the memory of his late son, James Culligan.
The President of Culligan Management Company in San Mateo, which leases and manages commercial properties, Culligan was a standout golfer at Serra High School and San Jose State. During a long amateur career, he was a multiple club champion at various Bay Area golf venues, a winner of numerous Northern California Amateur championships and San Francisco City champion. He also participated in the 1972 Masters in Augusta.
In 2004 he helped establish The First Tee of San Francisco at Harding Park Golf Course. He currently serves on the San Francisco board of First Tee, which is part of a national nonprofit organization with 200 chapters throughout the country helping children ages 6 through 17 learn golf and develop the character skills of integrity, honesty and self-control that the game demands.
When Culligan’s granddaughter Katlyn Bachli entered SI as a freshman in 2008, he noticed that he could not only establish a permanent scholarship fund but also determine the kind of student he would like to help. He thought instantly of the hundreds of kids participating in the First Tee program at Harding Park.
“I’ve been into golf and sports for years,” he said. “I wanted to direct the endowment toward something I loved.” It is his hope that some of the kids from First Tee will show the academic skills and character traits SI looks for in applicants. If that happens, the Culligan Scholarship will help out financially.
He adds that his scholarship fund is not limited to First Tee kids and that the school has the ultimate say as to who benefits.
Though not an SI alumnus, his ties to the school as a grandparent and the way he was encouraged to personalize his scholarship were powerful incentives.
“When we got the scholarship forms, they gave us the option to tailor our gift to a certain type of child,” he said. “It is up to SI to select the child.” But he is pleased to know that student athletes will benefit.
“Tom exemplifies a grandparent who makes a significant difference in the lives of current and future Ignatians,” added Vice President for Development Joe Vollert ’84, who invites grandparents interested in making a donation in honor of their grandchildren to contact him at (415) 731-7500, ext. 319, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.