Student Senate establishes scholarship for HC students

FOR RELEASE
2003-12-09
Huntington College 2003-04 Student Senate

HUNTINGTON , IN — Philanthropy is something many college students may not think about, at least not until they graduate and become financially stable within the work force. But a group of current Huntington College Student Senate members has demonstrated remarkable leadership and Christian stewardship by establishing a new scholarship that will help meet the needs of students and impact the College for years to come.

Joanna Shenk, student body president, took the initiative to establish an endowed scholarship, which is a scholarship fund that awards five percent of its earnings per year so that the scholarship lasts for years to come. A minimum of $10,000 is required to establish an endowed scholarship at Huntington College .

“Many students are very concerned about financial aid,” said Shenk, a communication studies major from Goshen , Ind. . “With some encouragement from Tim Caldwell, last year’s student body president, I figured Student Senate could be interested in doing something that would directly meet students’ needs.”

In late May, Shenk sent a letter to all Student Senate members, encouraging them to think about the commitment it would take to raise such money. The response was overwhelming as each of the 22 senators gave of their own money and committed to working a phonathon during the fall semester. Their efforts resulted in a successful fundraiser.

“This scholarship initiative has allowed Student Senate to catch the vision of stewardship and leadership. We want to serve the Huntington students, and the success lies in the extraordinary senators who have given much time and effort,” Shenk said.

Ryan Darr, Student Senate treasurer, was excited to be a part of something new and creative. “I feel like we’re beginning something that’s really going to make a difference. We’re leaving our mark on this campus in a way that we believe will make a positive impact. After going through the phonathon, I see that we have an amazing potential to make a difference if we can work hard and be creative. The success we’ve already had gives us a lot of hope for the future of this scholarship.”

To establish the Student Senate Impact Initiative Scholarship, Student Senate allocated between two and six thousand dollars out of its yearly budget. During the phonathon, senators called previous Huntington College Student Senate members and raised over $10,000. As a bonus, funds received before December 31, 2003 , will be matched by the Lilly Initiative to Strengthen Philanthropy.

“I am energized and encouraged by this group of students,” said Ron Coffey, vice president for student development at Huntington College . “They spend their time on important issues that affect the quality of life for their fellow students. The establishment of this scholarship is just one example of a strategy they are employing to address the important issue to help students deal with the escalating costs of higher education.”

“I am proud of our Student Senate,” Coffey continued. “I believe that their leadership experiences will pay huge dividends both while they are students and beyond graduation.”

During the phonathon, senate member Amanda Brody was amazed at one woman’s generosity. “I wasn’t too keen on calling people to ask for money, but I knew it was something that needed to happen. The first lady I called quickly changed my views.”

“I asked her if she would be willing to donate $100, which was our basic asking amount,” Brody continued. “She proceeded to tell me that she would donate $500! I was speechless! Being able to talk to someone who was so generous with the funds that God blessed her with was a humbling experience. Her actions made me realize that I need to start being more generous with the things that God has given me.”

During the phonathon, Shenk had the opportunity to speak with former student body presidents who also made significant impacts on the Huntington College campus, including efforts to allow women to have a later curfew, for the library to stay open for studying on Sundays, and to raise money for the Student Venture Auditorium. Each of those efforts continue to impact Huntington College students today.

While the criteria for the scholarship is currently being decided, the Student Senate Impact Initiative Scholarship plans to take effect by the beginning of the 2004-05 school year. Many senate members are hopeful that as the scholarship grows over the years, it will be awarded to more than one individual on a yearly basis and then follow that individual through each of his or her years at Huntington .

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Huntington College is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 60 academic concentrations. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington College is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in Huntington, Indiana. The College is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
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Joanne Green
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