Scholarship Dinner Celebrates Giving and Receiving
April 27, 2010
On Saturday, April 24, as part of its stewardship program, the Advancement Division hosted the annual Benefactor and Student Scholarship Dinner in Alumni Hall. Over 100 benefactors and students gathered at the event where scholarship recipients had the opportunity to meet with their donors. Speaking at the event were scholarship recipients Sara Roderiques '10 and Alexandre Swayne '11.
Through the DeSouza Ward Scholarship and the Theresa Ryan Scholarship, Roderiques was able to attend Stonehill. In a few weeks, she will receive her degree in chemistry before embarking on a year of service with the Humility of Mary Volunteer Service program in Florida.
Throughout her time at Stonehill, Roderiques has taken full advantage of the College's academic and service opportunities. From the SURE program, in which she worked closely with Professor Louis Liotta, to the HOPE program which brought her to Tennessee and Texas, Roderiques noted how these experiences have allowed her to grow both spiritually and academically.
"Stonehill has given me so many opportunities, and traveling around the world for science, singing, and volunteer work are just a few. I have discovered my strengths, my weaknesses, and my passions," said Roderiques.
Aside from her travels through the HOPE program, Roderiques also attended American Chemical Society National Meetings in both Salt Lake City and San Francisco where she presented her research and, as a singer and clarinet player, traveled to Rome and Paris with the chapel choir.
"I wouldn't have been able to experience any of this, if it was not for the scholarship program here at Stonehill. Growing up in a single-parent household made it difficult for me and my mother to afford my education. Thanks to the DeSouza Ward Scholarship and the Theresa Ryan Scholarship, I was able to come to Stonehill and enjoy every moment of my time here," said Roderiques.
For Swayne (pictured left), his time at Stonehill was nearly cut short when his family faced financial difficulties last year. "As a single parent in this recession, with family back in Haiti depending on (my mother's) help, the opportunity to continue my education at Stonehill did not seem likely," explained Swayne.
"All of the money I had went to my mom. By the end of my sophomore year, I realized that though education is priceless, the pursuit of education does not put food on the table. There was a frustrating margin that was keeping me from being able to return to Stonehill to finish my junior year.
"Someone felt that it need not be that way because I received The William Randolph Hearst Foundation Scholarship, which provides funding for academically talented and financially needy students of color for one year," noted Swayne, who will soon complete his junior year as a Psychology major, concentrating in Accounting and Finance.
Swayne is currently interning at State Street Global Markets in Boston's financial district and was recently accepted into its Professional Development Program, which will allow him to rotate across three State Street departments for one year after graduating from Stonehill. After completing the program, he will be hired by one of the departments.
"This has all been the result of hard work, dedication, and an essential catalyst. The essential catalyst for these great opportunities was the day I received the William Randolph Hearst Foundation scholarship," said Swayne.
"To all of you who have been blessed by someone in a position to give, I hope that you are reminded of how lucky you are. For those of you who have given someone a gift to continue their education, thank you. Stonehill is an institution of higher learning with many minds and one purpose; and I am a living example of that."
In his remarks, Vice President for Advancement Fran Dillon noted the powerful dynamic between scholarship benefactors and their recipients.
"By gathering together, benefactors and students, we transform individual acts of generosity and individual expressions of gratitude into this bond of Stonehill community we share tonight," said Dillon.
"Our scholarship recipients gain an insight on what motivates people to be generous and to give back to others. Our students learn about the power of generosity, of selflessness, of philanthropy.
"Our benefactors hear firsthand how their gifts have enhanced young lives. They see that their faith in others and their trust in Stonehill have not been misplaced; that their generosity has made a real difference."
To view a detailed list of Stonehill's restricted and endowed scholarships, visit here.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.