During the annual luncheon held this year on Wednesday, February 12th, in the Dining Center, a packed room of scholarship recipients were celebrated with pizza, salad, and the locally-famous Hope’s Cookies. Students got the chance to mingle and share their stories with members of the Institutional Advancement department, hear more about their scholarships and donors, and to learn about next steps in the scholarship process.
Haverford financial aid is strictly need-based, not merit-based. Named scholarships, which take the place of Haverford grants for student awardees, instead provide a way for alumni and other donors to encourage high-achieving students on campus who have financial need. At the same time, these scholarships help the College utilize its grant money most effectively for as many students as possible. While nearly half of Haverford students are on financial aid, less than a quarter of students receive a named scholarship. ”You all were selected for your particular scholarship because of your impressive record of achievement,” said Parker Snowe ’79, director of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship.
Students in attendance had been asked to provide a profile, to let their donors learn more about them, and were encouraged to reach out to their donors to express appreciation. “Donors don’t need a thank-you for what they have done, but [thanking them] is the right thing to do,” Snowe added. “Remember that you’re standing on the shoulders of those who came before you, so pay it forward.”
Thankfulness is a subject with which Carrie Clowney ’14, the student speaker at Wednesday’s event, is familiar. Clowney, a political science major, is the Robert J.F. ’61 and Margaret M. Brobyn Endowed Scholarship Fund recipient. In her speech, the now-college senior recalled her senior year of high school: “While many of my peers worried about getting into their top-choice college, I was worried about being able to pay for college.” But through the Office of Financial Aid at Haverford, Clowney and her family received enough support to make her dream school a reality. And with a named scholarship, Clowney is passionate about giving back to a school that has invested so directly in her future.
A donor herself, Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement Ann West Figueredo ’84 echoed the power of the donor-student connection. “[Donors] are in your corner. They invested in you. They believe in you,” she said. As donors are asked to name their award and define specific criteria for the recipient to embody (location, major, or area of interest), the relationship forged between donor and student is personal.
Community is an essential part of Haverford tradition, and named scholarships help to create a bond between students and alumni donors. Together, students and donors illustrate the lifelong connection possible for all students, with the Haverfordian goal of keeping college affordable, both today and for generations to come.