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Siena Heights Student Gilius Blinstrubas ’17 Follows in his Family’s Entrepreneurial Footsteps

His grandfather started one.

His father started one.

So, it’s not that unusual that Gilius (pronounced GIL-us) Blinstrubas (far right) decided to start his own business. What is unusual is that Blinstrubas started not one—but two—businesses before beginning his junior year at Siena Heights University.

“It takes a special person to do it,” Blinstrubas said. “I really enjoy business. I spend a lot of time reading business books, articles and talking to people about business. It doesn’t feel like work.”

The grandson of Lithuanian immigrants who came to the U.S. during World War II, Blinstrubas’ grandfather started his own tool-and-die business, and his father a law firm. Their entrepreneurial example inspired him to start his first business in 2013 as a freshman at SHU.

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Impactful Art

Martin Moreno ’88 Leads Lenawee County Mural Project

Siena Heights was involved with the Lenawee County Mural Project headed by SHU alum and nationally recognized muralist Martin Moreno ’88 last summer. Moreno was commissioned to head the project, which included creating a mural on the side of the Fishes and Loaves building in the city of Adrian (above).

The project began in June was finished in July. SHU student, faculty and staff volunteers painted and helped with design. The project was coordinated by SHU Arts Engagement Coordinator Joni Warner (right).

Moreno also donated a smaller mural to be auctioned off at the annual Siena Summer Spectacular for Scholarships on June 21. Moreno is pictured below with members of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, who won the live auction for his artwork. The Spectacular raised a record $80,000 this year for student scholarships.

To view a video on the process of the mural project, visit

Class Notes—Fall 2015


Carolyn Alford
Carolyn Alford

Carolyn Alford ’08 (Battle Creek) received the Kalamazoo YMCA Lifetime Woman of Achievement Award in May 2015. Alford, a longtime official and community leader, is “a devoted member of the Kalamazoo community and has spent her life working toward the betterment of others through services,” according to the award description. “As a mentor and advocate for so many individuals, Carolyn’s dedication to those impacted by poverty, racism or any other form of social or economic marginalization has served as an example for all to follow.” Alford served on the Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education for 16 years, and also served four terms on the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners. She is also past recipient of NAACP Humanitarian of the Year Award (2010) and the YMCA Woman of Achievement Award (2007).

Tod Marshall
Tod Marshall

Tod Marshall ’90 was named to a two-year term as Gonzaga University’s Robert K. and Ann J. Powers Professor Chair of the Humanities. The Powers chair is awarded to “an outstanding teacher-scholar in the area of history, philosophy, language or literature,” according to the university. Marshall was also the 2015 recipient of the Humanities Washington Award, which each year honors two individuals or organizations whose efforts “reflect the spirit and programs of Humanities Washington.” His book of poetry, “Bugle,” won the Washington State Book Award. Marshall, who is in his 16th year of teaching at Gonzaga, founded and continues to curate the university’s visiting writer’s series. He said, “I know that much of my success if due to the blessings I received at Siena from Sister Hogan, Sister Schnapp, Sister Hall, Mary Weeber, Mark Schersten and others. I love that place; I love the people.”

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