July 2024 calendar

Key Dates

July 1 – New MSU Denver Bird Talk podcast episode
July 4 – Independence Day
July 18 – Mug Club Happy Hour

Roadrunners benefit from endowed golf scholarship

Members of the O'Neill family, including Tim O'Neill, pose with the MSU Denver women's golf team.

by Lynne Winter

MSU Denver thankful for the support of the O’Neill family.

The MSU Denver Department of Athletics, and specifically the Roadrunners’ women’s golf program, is continually grateful for the support of Tim O’Neill and his family.

O’Neill made a second $25,000 contribution to the Moffat-McLaughlin endowed scholarship for MSU Denver’s women’s golfers last week, furthering his family’s legacy on campus, in the community and for the game of golf.

O’Neill, his wife JeanMarie, and his sister Anne made the presentation before a Roadrunners practice at CommonGround Golf Course.

“JeanMarie and I were talking about something else we could do,” Tim O’Neill said of the scholarship. “We decided to be the first ones and put the seed money in. The scholarship is intended to benefit somebody in the name of our (relatives), people we’ve learned more about since we found ‘the trophy.’ We were looking for something good to come out of it.”

The details behind “the trophy” are part of a fascinating story that dates back to the 1920s, when Michael McLaughlin won the Pebble Beach Gold Vase Championships three times in five years to earn permanent possession of the trophy. Details about the trophy, which was eventually hidden in a family basement for some 75 years, are here and here.

The O’Neill family’s history traces back to McLaughlin and includes sisters Ella Moffat McLaughlin and Frances Moffat, thus the scholarship’s name.

“We’re proud that we can do something with their legacy, and this is a place we could all agree is a good place to go,” Anne O’Neill said. “MSU Denver has a reputation of being scrappy. The McLaughlins were scrappy. They got things done.”

Michael McLaughlin grew up on 9th Street on what is now part of the Auraria Campus. Another O’Neill sister, Peggy, taught for 20 years at MSU Denver in technical communications and journalism. Anne is an MSU Denver graduate, and both Peggy and Anne had two children attend MSU Denver.

“When we were looking for a common connection, there it was,” Anne said.

MSU Denver appreciates the contribution.

Women's golf coach Stefanie Ferguson

“It’s huge for us,” MSU Denver coach Stef Ferguson said. “We’ve never had an endowed scholarship. We’re not fully funded, so it’s really a game-changer. Right now it’s just getting the student-athletes a little more so they can have fewer fees and more education. To have their support is so cool. We’re very lucky.”