A graduate and former star athlete at Catherine McAuley High School in Portland, together with her NFL quarterback husband, has established a $125,000 endowment to provide scholarships to young women seeking a McAuley education.

Sarah Marshall Ryan graduated in 2003. She was a three-sport athlete and led the McAuley Lions to two straight Class A Basketball State Championships. She was the Gatorade Player of the Year in 2002 and 2003. She went on to play point guard for the Boston College basketball team.

Her husband is Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who played football at Boston College during the same years that Marshall Ryan helped lead the women’s basketball team.

“My time spent at McAuley were some of the best years of my life,” Marshall Ryan said in a written announcement of the scholarship fund. “Matt has heard many a story from my high school days and knows how much McAuley and the wonderful people there mean to me. This is why it brings us great happiness to do this for deserving young women.”

The first scholarship, a $5,000 gift, will be awarded to an incoming freshman for the 2014-15 academic year and will be based upon financial need, academic excellence, involvement in the community and participation in McAuley’s athletic program. The student selected for this award also will be personally mentored by Marshall Ryan, according to the news release.

Catherine McAuley High School was founded by the Sisters of Mercy and is Maine’s only Catholic college-preparatory high school for women.

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