Campus to honor students, scholarship donors tonight

Beth Sewell

When the idea was proposed last year to have scholarship donors meet the students their money helps, no one knew what potential the concept held.

Tom Hiles, vice president of Institutional Advancement, came up with the idea after seeing the program done at other schools.

He said he knew it would not only give donors a face to put with the name of a student, but it would also give students the chance to personally thank the people who are making part of their college experience possible.

Western will hold its second annual Scholarship Celebration reception at 5:30 tonight in Van Meter Hall. Between 250 to 300 donors and students are expected to attend, the same number as last year.

“There’s something magical that happens when you put a scholarship donor with a scholarship recipient,” Hiles said. “I can’t describe it. It’s just a really neat event.”

Development coordinator Jill Blythe said scholarship recipients will be seated with their donor and given time before and after the short program to talk with them.

The program is scheduled to last 30 minutes and will include speeches from President Ransdell, a donor and two recipients.

“It’s a great event,” Blythe said. “We really are planning to make this an annual thing.”

Hiles said it is rewarding for donors to see the positive impact they are having on students’ lives. He said tonight’s event is easy to plan because most of the interaction is individual rather than scripted.

“All we had to do was take care of the logistics of getting people there,” Hiles said, “The rest takes care of itself.”

Reach Beth Sewell at [email protected]