You might think the 4-inch stack of papers would be intimidating.
That stack on my desk includes more than 160 stapled acceptance packets that scholarship recipients must submit in order to receive their scholarships. Each includes:
- a cover sheet
- a questionnaire
- a letter, often with more than one page.
And every year, I read each of these acceptance packets, sometimes more than once.
A Gold Mine
But I love reading the packets because this seemingly daunting stack of papers always offers a rich gold mine of valuable stories.
“Sharing those stories” answers the important question of why I’m writing this blog. I’m hoping that anyone who loves a great story will check back in to read about the students at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS)–especially the donors who create the scholarships.
I want to give them a huge thank you and an additional source of satisfaction and fulfillment from their giving.
A Special Right-Sized Community
UIS attracts students who want college to give them close-knit relationships not only with other students but also with the gifted professors who teach here. UIS takes pride in being a warm, welcoming campus where faculty and staff support what students are working so hard to achieve. Here, we know students’ names.
The students who receive scholarships soon realize that support at UIS extends beyond the campus to the community and to our alumni. Each year, students receive more than $400,000 in privately funded scholarship support, created by donors who find pleasure in seeing UIS students achieve their dreams.
Scholarship Stories will give students a chance to meet some of these wonderful donors.
Scholarship Stories will also give donors an opportunity to learn more about the students who receive their support. Because I’ll be telling stories about alumni, donors will enjoy seeing where their gifts have taken students.
The Proof in the Telling
I’m eager to provide proof that scholarship giving extends far beyond the student to benefit the communities, business, non-profits and families touched by scholarship recipients. So many inspiring stories!
I hope you find value in what you read here. I welcome your suggestions and comments.