2024 Annual Scholarship Appreciation Banquet

Published: April 24, 2024 | Author: Emma Taylor and Paige Crossley | Read Time: 2 minutes

Scholarship Banquet students speaking to a donorOn the evening of April 4, 2024, Southern Utah University hosted its annual scholarship appreciation banquet. With a total of 350 attendees, including alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and scholarship recipients, the event celebrated the transformative power of higher education and charity.

Representing numerous scholarship recipients, Emily Waite and Robert Burdzy delivered inspiring speeches. They shared stories of their academic journeys and profound gratitude for the contributions of donors. Both Rob and Emily spoke on the impact of privately-funded scholarships in allowing them to pursue their educational and career aspirations without financial burden.

Jesse Jones, a 2020 alumnus of SUU and former scholarship recipient, also shared his empowering story of how scholarships helped him earn his degree and succeed as a CPA and Senior Tax Accountant at Allegiant Travel Company. Jesse and his husband, Taggart Speakman, were inspired by his donors to start a scholarship fund supporting accounting students in the Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business. Jesse closed his speech with appreciation for those who have changed students’ lives through their donations, reminding current students that they, too, have the power to shape the future of SUU.

President Benson speaking at the Scholarship BanquetSUU President Mindy Benson concluded the evening by expressing gratitude for all in attendance. She highlighted the dedication of alumni, faculty, staff, students, community leaders, and honorary donors. President Benson shared statistics on the importance of higher education, leaving the audience with striking motivation to make a greater impact in the world.

The evening also featured instrumental piano music by student Breanna Wilson, creating a charming atmosphere. A vocal ensemble of voice performance and choral music education majors performed “Son de la Vida,” an upbeat piece directed by Dr. Andrew Briggs.

The scholarship banquet was a truly special evening that encapsulated academic excellence, heartfelt gratitude, and the spirit of giving. Its success was thanks to the dedication of the event staff, facilities team, program participants, and supporters, ensuring a memorable event for all.

Tags: Donor-Impact Alumni Scholarships

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Nikki Koontz