Several donors, scholars come together at 2018 Scholarship Reception

Scholar speakerKennesaw State’s Office of University Development hosted its 2018 Scholarship Reception at the KSU Convocation Center on March 23. The event, held to thank those who fund endowed and annual scholarships, provides an opportunity to connect donors with their scholarship recipients.

This year’s luncheon attracted 340 people, with the majority of them being donors and scholars. The receptions first started in the 1980s and the 2018 event is believed to be the largest ever.

In the 2017-18 academic year, more than 1,000 scholarships totaling $1.6 million were awarded to Kennesaw State students.

Longtime giver Catherine Land-Waters ’83, president of Southeastern Gas Engineering and a trustee of the KSU Foundation, spoke on behalf of those who have contributed scholarship money. She earned a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering technology from Southern Polytechnic State University.

“I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that you’ve played some small part in somebody actually being able to go to college,” Land-Waters said. “It’s just an amazing feeling and I’m so glad to be here.

“I really wanted to focus my giving on education. To this day, I feel very strongly about trying to play a small part in someone getting that opportunity.”

Jordan Sommer, a pianist and music performance major, followed Land-Waters to the podium and represented Kennesaw State’s scholars.  

“I’m very fortunate to share with you that I have many future opportunities because of my time here at KSU,” Sommer said. “I would not be here without the generous gifts of my donors over the past few semesters.”

Sommer then had messages for both students who have benefitted from scholarships and those who have supplied those funds.

“To my fellow students, don’t take your scholarship or the gift you’ve been given for granted,” he said. “Utilize this day, this awesome opportunity to meet your donors and to make a friendship with them. So, make a connection with them. They’ve extended a gift to you, they believe in you, they want you to be in school and to achieve your dreams.

“To our gracious donors, I want to extend a sincere thank you to all of you because we are here because of you. Without your generosity and support, we would not be doing the things we’re doing.”

Other speakers during the luncheon included Dr. Ken Harmon, Kennesaw State’s interim president; James P. Dunn, interim chief executive officer of the KSU Foundation; and Melisa Baldwin, associate vice president of advancement, alumni and development.

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