SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Spring 2003)
People give to people
Foundation support changing lives of numerous students
The junior biology major cried when she learned she had been awarded a George S. and Dolores Dore' Eccles Foundation Scholarship for $1,900. Her mother passed away in 1996, and her father has been struggling with watching his investments go down to nothing after the Stock Market reaction to the September 11th tragedy.
Despite the hardships, this family remains very optimistic and has their priorities in the right place. The student's father commented, "It is better to invest in your children proactively (through education) rather than reactively (if they get in trouble). My daughter has been working 27 hours a week while maintaining a 3.87 GPA. We are grateful that the Eccles Foundation has provided this scholarship, as it will help us tremendously."
Several years ago, the W. M. Keck Foundation donated $250,000 so SUU could purchase undergraduate research equipment. Marsha Lundgren, Director of Corporate and Foundation Support, praised the Keck Foundation for their support. "I recently attended the 7th Annual SUU Biology Symposium where undergraduate research students presented their projects. The student next to me leaned over and told me how a water temperature datalogger made a significant difference in the tide pool research project several students conducted this year at La Jolla Beach, California. It was purchased with Keck funds." Lundgren added, "The Keck grant has a ripple effect where the undergraduate research equipment will be helping SUU students for years and years to come."
In 1998, the Dr. W. C. Swanson Family Foundation set up a scholarship endowment at Southern Utah University. The scholarships are awarded yearly to rural, minority and/or non-traditional (over the age of 25) students. One of the recipients this year was a 30-year old who struggled for years with the tight reign of drug addiction. She was a high school dropout whose world crashed around her the day she was arrested.
Determined to turn her life around, she earned her high school diploma while incarcerated, then applied to SUU. "All of those years that I spent in active addiction I really wanted to go to school and be somebody, but didn't believe that I was smart enough or good enough. I cannot put into words how much I truly despised myself." With help from the Swanson scholarship, she now maintains a 3.8 GPA and is seeking a degree in Psychology. She added, "Today, I really am living my childhood dreams."
Numerous SUU students have benefited from "people giving to people" through foundation support: single mothers go to school with scholarships from the Gannett Foundation; the Sherratt Library buys books with money donated from the Marriner S. Eccles Foundation; and first generation students become the first college graduates in their families due to the generosity of PacifiCorp Foundation for Learning, just to name a few.
The Development Office invites alumni and friends to think about important ties you, your family or your employer may have with foundations. There are still a myriad of ways to partner donor interests with our campus needs, and we need your help to assist even more students with their academic goals. Or, perhaps you have a tie with an individual, business, or corporation that could help SUU students. We would love to hear from you! After all, people give to people, and our students will greatly benefit from the philanthropic investment!