On Thursday evening, donors, friends, and alumni of IU Northwest came together in the school’s annual celebration of student scholarships at the Avalon Manor in Hobart. Scholarship recipients and donors celebrated the significance of philanthropy at the event, which provided an opportunity for attendees to learn about the significant impact the gift of a scholarship can have on an individual.
Vanessa Allen, a member of the IU Northwest Board of advisors and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, opened the evening’s remarks. “It is your philanthropic support that significantly eases students’ financial burdens, and allows the campus to continue to raise the bar of excellence in recruiting, retaining, and graduating exceptional students.”
Artist and recipient of the Ray C. and Josephine K. Thomas Scholarship Katherine VanDrie said, “Someone on campus had seen my work and nominated me for the scholarship. I was thrilled to be the recipient of it. It is particularly special to be here tonight to meet the founders of my award.”
The founders of Katherine’s scholarship, Mr. Joseph N. and Mrs. Joanna G Thomas, were at the event because they were receiving the 2013 Chancellor’s Medallion for being longstanding philanthropic supporters of both IU and IU Northwest. “It is an honor to actually meet a student that is the recipient of our scholarship fund.”
In a video created for the event, five students shared their personal stories to illustrate the impact the scholarships have made on their lives. A prominent theme was that the scholarships enabled them to concentrate on their academic success rather than the stress of paying for their education.
Paula Jenkins, Vice President for Development, regional campuses, and the IU Foundation, echoed the students stories. “With so many of our IU Northwest students combining a job with their studies, scholarship support eases the burden, both psychologically and financially, of paying for their education.”
Other student scholarship recipients included DeShanna Alexander, recipient of the Emerson Neighborhood and Hilda Richards Scholarship; Crystal Bunton, recipient of the Penny MacLennan Memorial Scholarship; Ikechukwo Okafo, recipient of the IU Northwest General scholarship; and Andres Santiago, recipient of the Non-Traditional Student Scholarship and the Leslie P. Singer Memorial Scholarship.
After celebrating the student scholarship recipients, William J. Lowe, Chancellor of IU Northwest, honored four couples who have rendered distinguished service to the University and the community by bestowing his highest honor, The Chancellor’s Medallion.
“Their efforts have been instrumental in advancing IU Northwest, and, in particular, supporting our greatest asset, our students,” Lowe said.
Chancellor Medallion Award recipients included Mr. and Mrs. Christenson, Mr. and Mrs. Mac Lennan, Mrs. And Mr. Cope, and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas.