Scholarship reception offers a moment of thanks

 In News
Left, Roma Bergstrom and her husband Richard-Paz, are scholarship donors to Clark students.

Left, Roma Bergstrom and her husband Richard-Paz, are scholarship donors to Clark students.

Scholarship recipients eagerly shook the hands of the individuals who provide them with the chance to fulfill their educational goals during the 17th annual scholarship reception on Friday, October 24.

In attendance were students and their families, donors, faculty and staff – more than 275 people in all –  exchanging stories and offering thanks and congratulations in Gaiser Student Center.

Student Bryce Ruppe, who is studying Business Administration, said his life has forever changed. “With the quality of education I receive at Clark, I know I will be successful, not only when I transfer to a four-year university and grad school soon after, but for the remainder of my life as I navigate a career, family and civic responsibilities. I have been forever empowered by this remarkable institution.”

Ruppe addressed the audience during the one-hour event by adding how thankful he is to receive financial support from donors so he can concentrate on his studies and pursue his dreams. “What Clark offers is much more than just a college degree. It is an opportunity for those ready to take hold and fly with it and a second chance for those who didn’t even realize they had a prayer.”

Jane Schmid-Cook, a member of Clark College Foundation’s board of directors, spoke about her experience at Clark when she was a young college student. She wasn’t ready to attend a four-year university and Clark helped prepare her, mentally and emotionally, for the rigors of advanced education. She later graduated from Pepperdine University. Today, she’s a small business owner of the social media company NewMediacy.

Schmid-Cook also spoke about the importance of giving back. She reminded the scholarship recipients in the audience that their good fortune can extend to the next generation of students if they make a promise to support Clark College too.

This event is the only formal chance for students to meet their respective donor during their collegiate career. Putting a face to the name is momentous, according to Lisa Gibert, president/CEO of Clark College Foundation.

“The connections made here today are special: They represent so much more than financial assistance provided; they confirm the bond between a student and a benefactor who believes enough in you to provide financial support. It’s a great day because this event brings to giving to life. Giving is not a thing, but a feeling like no other. Today is a great day as we enjoy the feeling of warmth and inspiration occurring all around us,” she said.

The foundation provided $750,000 in scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year because generous and thoughtful individuals believe in Clark College and supporting student aspirations, said Gibert.

The 2013-2014 scholarship recipients. Photo by Jenny Shadley

The 2013-2014 scholarship recipients and their donors. Photos by Jenny Shadley

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