Local businesses help college students’ dreams become realityWritten by Christine Senack | | email@example.com
While there are some who dread the idea of going to college, most potential college students dream of completing their degree. They appreciate the self-confidence, skills and opportunities a college degree can provide. One of the ways that local businesses choose to invest in the community is by underwriting scholarships for promising students. This kind of philanthropy not only makes a student’s dreams a reality, but it improves the community by helping to create a better educated work force.
At Lourdes College, 30 percent of all students receive scholarship funds from private sources. This is in addition to any state and federal financial aid. This year, Lourdes will award more than $736,000 in scholarship funds to its students with an average award per student of $1,400.
Scholarships at Lourdes are created by private donations from individuals and businesses. Each year more than $200,000 in scholarship funds are raised at the college’s annual special events, “Luminations,” “Hit the Links” golf outing and “Lourdes’ Night at Ciao.”
“Lourdes College is grateful to area businesses and organizations who have generously assisted our students successfully complete their degrees and realize dreams they may have not thought possible,” said Mary Arquette, Lourdes vice president of institutional advancement. “As they move into their careers, they will utilize their values-centered education and become contributing members of our community.”
The following are some of the businesses and organizations supporting scholarships at Lourdes College: Owens Corning, ProMedica, Delp Company, Lyden Company, Northwestern Ohio Area Office on Aging, Toledo Business Woman, Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges, Spanish America Organization, Bel-Main, Fifty Men & Women and the Women’s Initiative of United Way of Greater Toledo.
At UT, in 2008-09, more than $31 million was awarded in endowed scholarships, annual gifts and tuition-funded grants, according to the UT Institutional Research office’s “Common Data 2008-09” report. Like Lourdes, and other colleges and universities, scholarship funding comes from individuals, businesses and college-sponsored special events.
Ellen Ingram, UT’s director of corporate and foundation relations, said that companies of all sizes give to the college’s scholarship program. She sees corporate giving an extension of the inclination to give found in individuals.
“Corporations are made up of people who live in a community. So, they are compelled to give to the community,” Ingram said. “Scholarships are one way they give back to the community.”
Ingram said that she finds that by volunteering and by making monetary donations to the college, businesses feel they strengthen the community in which they work. Among the many businesses offering scholarships through UT are the three major banks: Fifth Third Bank, KeyBank and National City Bank.
At Owens Community College, many local students already qualify to attend the college tuition-free through one of its tuition waiver programs. However beyond those agreements with local high schools, and in addition to federal and state grants, this year, Owens expects to give out more than $99,501 in private scholarships to students. Some of these scholarships are endowed. Others are known as operating scholarships, with the donor making an annual cash donation for the award said Ann Savage, president of the Owens Community College Foundation. Awards per student range from $250 to $1,500.
Christine Senack is a Toledo-based consultant helping nonprofit organizations, businesses and individuals work smarter for the greater good of our community. On occasion she also presents the TMZ Report on FOX Toledo News First at 4. For more event photos and video highlights, connect with her at Face book.com/christinesenack.