Scholarship recipients at Shippensburg University gathered in the Tuscarora Room of Reisner Dining Hall on March 25 to dine with their benefactors and celebrate their generosity.
Patti Savoulidis, of the SU Foundation, welcomed the students, faculty and guests when they arrived at 6 p.m. During the dinner, students had the opportunity to meet the people who helped make their college dream more affordable.
Following the dinner, SU Foundation CEO John Clinton announced the arrival of 82 new scholarships.
Three students delivered speeches to highlight the academic success their benefactors helped them obtain.
Jazmine Hall, a business management major, is in the honors program at SU. She traveled to the Dominican Republic with Reach Out, participates in Ship Trip and held an internship at Ahold USA in Carlisle last summer.
“I look forward to the challenges that come with management,” Hall said of her future career. Hall is a recipient of the Jeff and Sharon Lee scholarship, Board of Governors scholarship and the Pell grant.
Jeremy Eastman is a non-traditional student who worked his way through college. Born to missionary parents in the Dominican Republic, Eastman began helping others at the very start of his life.
“Helping children was instilled in me at a young age,” Eastman said. The elementary education major said his scholarships kept him going when balancing work and college became stressful. After graduation, Eastman hopes to teach locally and start a family with his wife.
Eastman is a recipient of the Shirley Fry Fox scholarship and the Strine/Stoner memorial scholarship.
Krista Williams, the final student speaker at the dinner, is a recipient of the Anthony F. and Valerie Ceddia Leadership scholarship. Williams serves as the student member of SU council of trustees. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology in December then returned to SU to pursue her master’s degree in organizational leadership.
In thanking her benefactors, Williams said the scholarships so many students receive are the final steps that turn goals into concrete reality. The next step in Williams’ academic experience is an internship in Alaska.
After applauding the student speakers subsided, Ceddia shared a benefactor’s perspective on scholarships. Ceddia explained the origin of the Clarence Shock Foundation, which has provided dozens of students with scholarships.
Ryen Radcliffe, an English major with a secondary education certification, is a freshman recipient of the Clarence Shock Foundation scholarship. Like many scholarship recipients, Radcliffe is inspired by the confidence his benefactors have in him.
“Knowing that there are people out there who believe in me strongly enough to invest in my education is great motivation,” Radcliffe said. “When I think there’s a concept I just might not be able to grasp, it’s comforting to remember that there’s someone who knows I can even if I don’t.”
The evening closed with remarks from Marcie Lehman, chair of the scholarship committee, and SU Interim President George “Jody” Harpster.
Both emphasized the difference that scholarships can make and encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them. Harpster hopes that SU students will “pay it forward” and help another student down the road.