Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Scholarship Luncheon connects students with donors

The University of Illinois Springfield recognized scholarship donors during the annual Scholarship Luncheon on October 23, 2013. Over 250 people attended the celebration in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby. For many of the donors it was their first time meeting the students they support.

“Each year there are different recipients for the different scholarships, so it’s a chance for our donors of these scholarships to develop new relationships with students as time goes on,” said Jeff Lorber, UIS vice chancellor for development.

Lynda Humphrey and her daughter Cathy Humphrey Padget have given several scholarships, including one for athletics, one for legal studies in memory of Lee Humphrey, and one for study abroad.

“It’s just such a blessing to see young people and all recipients, whatever age they are try and pursue their goals and have a career. It’s just very exciting,” said Humphrey Padget.

One of the Humphrey scholarships benefited senior criminal justice major Jasmine Torres-Gonzalez. She wouldn’t have been able to attend UIS without the support.

“The pressure to go to school and the financial strain, it’s really hard. It’s really important to get donors to donate and for those scholarships to keep going,” said Torres-Gonzalez.

For donors, such as Brad Ward, creating a scholarship is just another way to pay if forward. Ward graduated from UIS and now has a successful career in higher education.

“I really want to support UIS and I want to meet the student that gets my scholarship and my wife Jennifer’s scholarship. It’s always fun to just reminisce and be at a place that we love and enjoy.”

Thanks to donor support, UIS was able to award 265 scholarships during the 2013-14 academic year, which was made possible by 120 individuals, couples, or businesses.

“These people need to know that they make a difference, that they change people’s lives and they change society to be a better place to live,” said Lorber.

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