On Friday, April 15, the Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall filled with students, parents, and alumni for the college's annual Scholarship Awards Reception.
CHC Dean Gretchen H. Gerzina gave the welcoming remarks, noting the faculty mentorship and familial support that helps students to aim high and achieve their dreams. Gerzina also thanked the donors for their incredible generosity.
Mary Lavery '19, a student-athlete studying public health and Spanish, echoed Gerzina's sentiment during her own remarks. She thanked the donors for supporting students, especially CHC Advisory Board Chair Peter Bloom whose donations fund the Kenneth L. O'Brien Scholarship that Lavery received this year. Lavery said that scholarships help students pursue academic expriences that are otherwise unaffordable, such as studying abroad or even going to graduate school.
To close the event, Annaliese Bischoff, professor emerita of landscape architecture and regional planning, spoke on why she chose to establish a scholarship. She shared with audience members that the students at CHC are part of a "very strong and vibrant community."
While teaching and advising within CHC, Bischoff found that arts students struggled to find funding and Bischoff hopes that her scholarship provides an opportunity for students to pursue both their academic and artistic endeavors.
Through her work with honors students, she said she has found that "their motivation is simply contagious" and added that "teaching could not be more gratifying." Bischoff felt that donating was a way to support that motivation.
Thirty-seven scholarships, including nationally competitive programs such as the Fulbright, were presented during the event, recognizing more than 160 recipients. The honored students were congratulated for their academic achievements and accomplishments in a variety of fields and skills, ranging from scientific research to creative performance to community service.