Celebration of Scholarship links donors, recipients
ON THE GREEN | The University celebrated scholarship and philanthropy this spring, with an annual dinner that brings together donors to UD scholarships and the students who are benefiting from their generosity.
The third annual Celebration of Scholarship provided an opportunity for recipients to show their gratitude and for patrons to learn about the young men and women in whom they have invested.
Students said they were gratified to be able to speak one-on-one with the benefactors who have helped make their education possible. David Lombardi, a senior in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and recipient of the John Puglisi Scholarship, said he found it “humbling to be around so many talented students and donors who are committed to their success.”
Jessica Chason, a Lerner College senior and Honors Program student and recipient of the Pinto Family Scholarship, said she enjoyed the chance “to tell the donors how much their generosity is appreciated and how much they matter to us.”
Recent graduate Rachel McCulley, recipient of the Swank Human Services Disabilities Scholarship, brought the night to an emotional close by addressing the 300 guests and sharing how her scholarship had deeply enriched her college experience.
“I know that everyone here has a story to tell because someone believed in them,” she said. “The ongoing encouragement and support from the Swank Foundation motivated me to achieve all that I could during my time at the University of Delaware. Tonight, this event has brought together the students and donors to continue the cycle of motivating and encouraging one another.”
A new tradition
The dinner also introduced an award created to acknowledge those whose leadership and personal commitment make higher education a reality for others. The President’s Award for Philanthropic Commitment honors and recognizes donors whose spirit and generosity have had a positive impact on the University and its undergraduate students through scholarship support.
The inaugural award was given posthumously to Muriel E. Gilman, a longtime supporter of UD who was renowned for her involvement, activism and philanthropy throughout the community. Mrs. Gilman and her late husband, Marvin, established three scholarships at UD, and the award was given in recognition of their extraordinary dedication to students. Mrs. Gilman’s daughter, Martha Gilman, accepted the award on her mother’s behalf.
In presenting the award, UD President Patrick Harker noted the importance of Mrs. Gilman and the investment she made in the University.
“We are fortunate that the University of Delaware was a priority for Mrs. Gilman and her late husband, Marvin, a trustee and professor emeritus [of public policy],” he said. “They embraced the mission of the University and truly understood the power and significance of higher education.”
The scholarships established by the Gilmans are the Muriel E. Gilman Scholarship for Returning Students in Nursing, which supports a returning adult student who demonstrates academic excellence and shows promise of success in the profession; the Marvin S. Gilman/National Housing Endowment Scholarship, which is presented to a student in the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) who shows exemplary commitment to housing research and dedication to strengthening housing policy in the United States; and the Milton and Mary Edelstein Scholarship for Public and Community Service, which honors Muriel Gilman’s parents and is awarded to a student in SPPA who demonstrates a commitment to the well-being of the community and the values of public service.
Article by Julie Russ, AS '02