Scholarship donors make a difference for students
If the men, women, and organizations that give scholarships to University of Wisconsin-Parkside students had any doubts about the value placed on their contributions, Foundation Board President Raymond Camosy quickly dispelled them.
"I want to personally welcome everyone to what I see as one of the most important campus events of the year," Camosy said in welcoming students and benefactors to the Scholar and Donor Luncheon Dec. 5 on campus. "For many young people, the dream of a higher education is really dependent on having the financial resources to complete the program."
Camosy said the Foundation's goal is to clear away the barriers to education and help as many students as possible earn their degrees from UW-Parkside.
The scholarship recipients later heard from one of their own when current student Tracy Hribar gave the keynote address. In short order, Hribar has gone from being a businessperson and mother to being a UW-Parkside student and the non-traditional student regent for the University of Wisconsin System. While admitting she was "a little overwhelmed" at first, she then realized the opportunity she was given.
"The best part about [being a regent] is you get a chance to give back; you get a chance to make a difference," Hribar said, adding: "and the football tickets are nice, too."
She said scholarship contributors also have the opportunity to have a positive impact by helping students attain their degrees.
"All of the donors here today, you have a chance to make a difference in the students' lives here at Parkside. These donations that you give open up all kinds of possibilities that wouldn't have been there before. So, I'd really like to thank you for making that difference," she stated.
She closed by urging students to bring donations full circle by giving back to the university when their career and circumstances allow.
Chancellor Ford followed by expressing a "heartfelt thank you" to donors and a message from students.
"'Thanks to your generous support, I am the first in my family to attend college,'" she quoted one student as saying. "And one of the things I like to say often is that 62 percent of the graduates who receive their degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside are the first in their family to earn a college or a university degree. We are transforming lives each and every day here at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside."During the program, held in the Student Center Ballroom, Assistant Chancellor of University Relations and Advancement John Jaraczewski introduced a moving video featuring students and donors talking about how scholarships changed their lives. The video is available on YouTube.