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Celebrating the Power of Scholarship

Photo by Kevin Quinlan | Video by Jason Hinmon

Scholarship, fellowship and award donors interact with recipients at Celebration of Scholarship

More than 400 students and University of Delaware supporters gathered in the Bob Carpenter Center for the annual Celebration of Scholarship on May 2. The event provided scholarship, fellowship and award donors and recipients an opportunity to get to know each other while enjoying an evening of inspiring stories, live music and refreshments.

Board of Trustees member and alumna Terri Kelly opened the evening by speaking about the importance of scholarship support and what motivated her and her husband, John, to become donors.  She then introduced UD President Dennis Assanis who elaborated on the tremendous impact scholarships and philanthropy have on the University community. Seven students echoed these sentiments through stories of their time at UD.

Julia Guimond, a third-year doctoral student in geological sciences and recipient of the Samuel and Winifred Wharry Fellowship and the Carski Foundation DENIN Fellowship, spoke of her research on climate change and the impact on marshes and similar environments.

“These fellowships have allowed me to travel across the country presenting my work at national conferences and also provided me with numerous leadership opportunities, including running a graduate student symposium,” she said.

Harry Chen, a senior in the Lerner College of Business and Economics and recipient of the Rudolph E. and Mabel A. D’Souza Scholarship, shared how he’s grateful for the hands-on learning opportunities available at UD and why they are so important to a strong well-rounded education. He also took a moment to thank all those who help make these experiences possible by investing in scholarships.

“Without generous gifts from donors like you, I, along with other students, would not have the resources that we have today,” he said. “I am proud to say that I have a drive and commitment to succeed and strive to make every opportunity I’ve been granted worth it and make donors, my parents and myself proud. This, to me, is the highest form of gratitude one can offer.”

In the audience, alumni and scholarship supporters Ethan A. Jr. and Patricia Stenger listened attentively to these stories of impact. The Stengers generously established the Ethan A. Jr. and Patricia C. Stenger Football Scholarship in 2002, and also support the Class of 1957 Scholarship and the Class of 1958 Scholarship. Ethan played football as a student and fondly recalled the influence scholarship support had on his life.

“I was a scholarship recipient in the 1950s and basically got a free ride; when I graduated my bill was a grand total of $800,” Stenger said. “The scholarships I support are all about helping others and paying it forward.”

For sophomore scholarship recipient Luke Demers, the Class of 1957 Scholarship has played a critical role in helping him make ends meet while he studies at UD and prepares to join the Marine Corps. After meeting the Stengers, he also hopes to eventually be in a position to pay it forward and help others through philanthropy.

“Over the summer, I’m in Marine Officer Candidates School, so it disables me from holding a full-time job during those months,” Demers said. “As a result, this scholarship has really helped me. Someday I’d like to do that for someone else.”

Overall, the evening provided supporters with an opportunity to see the direct impact of their giving and exposed students to the individuals who help make their UD experience possible.

About Celebration of Scholarship

Celebration of Scholarship is an annual event to acknowledge and celebrate the generosity of scholarship, fellowship and award support at the University. Click here to learn more about Celebration of Scholarship and some of UD’s scholarship recipients. Click here to learn more about establishing an endowed fund or email donor-relations@udel.edu.

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