Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Scholarship Luncheon connects students and donors

The University of Illinois Springfield honored scholarship donors and gave them a chance to meet the students they support during an annual luncheon on Nov. 9, 2011.

Almost 250 people attended the celebration in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby, including senior Business Administration major Fred Jackson.

“You usually just see a name on a piece of paper and it’s actually nice to meet and get to talk to the donors,” said Jackson.

He would be paying off student loans for years if it were not for the Albert and Mozelle Narcisse Scholarship. The scholarship is one of more than 170 awards available to UIS students.

“It means a great deal. I don’t have to worry about paying for tuition or having to get a student loan,” he said.

Graduate student Holly Fowler was toying with the idea of returning to school before she applied for a scholarship.

“I applied for a scholarship and I got one, so I decided that was a good enough reason to remove some of that financial barrier and come back to school,” said Fowler.

The guest speakers at this year’s celebration were Carol and Clark Esarey, who recently established the Carrie Gibson Esarey and Dorthy Neland Scholarships for women and single mothers.

“There’s just no better way that we can think of to honor our mothers, who were both absolutely champions of education,” said Clark.

Associate Chancellor of Development Vicki Megginson announced a renewed scholarship push during the luncheon. As part of Access Illinois: The Presidential Scholarship Initiative a fund-matching program is being established. The University will work to match gifts and endowments and direct that money towards unrestricted scholarships.

“When one invests in a scholarship for students you’re not only investing in this student in this moment in time, but all of the things that student may become in their future,” said Megginson.

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