ECU’s Harriot College celebrates student scholarship recipients, thanks donors
East Carolina University’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences celebrated students and thanked its generous donors at the college’s eighth annual scholarship luncheon on Sept. 15 in the Main Campus Student Center ballroom. This academic year, nearly 150 college students will benefit from donors’ $300,000 in scholarship assistance.
Matt Slate, Harriot College alumnus (’96) and member of the Dean’s Advancement Council, welcomed guests to this year’s luncheon, thanking the college faculty, stating they are the ones who connect the dots by providing the education and opportunities students need to fulfill their dreams.
The theme of this year’s luncheon focused on “The Ripple Effect.” During the luncheon, scholarship recipients mingled with donors, sharing stories about their courses, research and study abroad experiences, as well as showing their gratitude for the financial support from the donors. One undergraduate and one graduate student scholarship recipient spoke as part of the formal program.
“This event is one of my favorites because of the reminder of our donors’ commitment to student success and an affordable high-quality education,” said Javier Limon, a senior political science major and president of the ECU Student Government Association. “If you ask my peers in this room, many will agree that on top of tuition and housing, simply existing as a student is expensive. That’s why we are so grateful for all your contributions to making that experience a little easier and even providing opportunities we may not have expected.”
Limon is a recipient of the Troutman/Carlton Political Science General Scholarship, and with this support, he was able to intern for the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill for nine weeks during his junior year.
“I was able to take that opportunity without needing to stress about finances,” said Limon, who used the remaining scholarship funds to launch his campus campaign for SGA president. “I am now working to use some of our SGA budget to create a $50,000 scholarship program that will pay for student internship costs so that we continue to eliminate the financial barriers that prevent our Pirates from taking advantage of the opportunities they deserve.”
Lily Ana Philbrook is a sociology graduate student and a recipient of the Linda Mooney Fellowship and the Paul A. Toll and Eleanor Etheridge Toll Scholarship in Sociology. She talked about the effect that donors’ generosity has beyond one student’s education.
“Today, we focus on the ripple effect of scholarships on every aspect of our communities. That student you helped is free from financial burden. They are now free to think deeply about important issues, focus on obtaining their degrees and pursue research,” Philbrook said.
“When we provide environments and resources for students to thrive in all areas of their lives, everyone benefits. Professors get to work with ambitious students, and the research they conduct can create various avenues for academic, legislative or private change within the community, government and our larger society. I look forward to the day when I can emulate you and provide funding for the next generation of students.
During the program, Ashley Harzog, Harriot College’s director of alumni relations and outreach, reiterated the value of scholarships and the ripple effect on students.
“Last year, we talked about the value of a scholarship and the $100,000 of interest alone that donors’ gifts spared students by funding their education,” Harzog said. “This year, we heard about the ripple effect of your investment in our students’ futures and the future of their communities. But for our students, this is merely the effect so far. Imagine where the very students surrounding us will be in five, 10 or 30 years.
“That’s the true power of tossing even a small pebble into the water. The impact can be felt much farther away than the initial splash. It’s concrete, powerful proof that our actions can lead to much bigger changes, even if we can’t see yet how far they will reach,” she said.
Dr. Allison S. Danell, dean of Harriot College, said it was her honor to celebrate the achievements of the college’s best and brightest scholarship recipients and the impactful work of generous donors.
“I simply can’t thank you enough for the positive ripples, both seen and to be seen, that come from the support of life-changing student scholarships,” she said. “Thank you for the pebble, a quite valuable one, that will surely ripple out to future doctors, lawyers, scientists, sociologists, historians, educators, community leaders, city planners and more.”
Supporters interested in exploring ways to assist Harriot College students, whether via scholarship support or other avenues, may contact Harzog at email@example.com or by calling 252-737-1753.