Three times annually, the day before each semester begins, all Goodwin College employees — faculty and staff — gather in the River Campus auditorium for Community Day, a morning of announcements, school news, longevity recognitions, and often a guest speaker or two. Traditionally, the morning wraps up with an update from the Goodwin Advancement team on efforts to raise critically needed support for student scholarships. At this year’s January 8 Community Day, the team shared an abundance of good news to start off the New Year.
First came the results of Goodwin’s Employee Giving Campaign for 2017. Vice President for Advancement Brooke Penders reported that campaign dollars raised were up 9% over the previous year, making it the College’s most successful campaign to date.
Critical to that success were donations totaling $20,000 to the Mary Henderson Scholarship Fund, named in honor of the beloved longtime Welcome Center director who passed away in in 2017. On hand for Community Day were 10 of the 20 student recipients. All recipients will receive a $1,000 scholarship for the spring semester.
Next followed news on the Finish Line Funds initiative through which insightful donors can earmark their philanthropic gifts to support Goodwin students who are within reach of finishing their studies but have exhausted all other means of financial aid.
“These donors are committed to helping students who have worked so incredibly hard and are closing in on achieving their career goals, but just need that final push to cover tuition, textbooks, or other expenses,” Penders said.
Since establishing the Finish Line Fund in 2016, the Goodwin College Foundation, which serves as both the College’s fundraising arm for charitable contributions and the College’s endowment, has raised more than $90,000, reflecting gifts from 13 donors.
For the spring 2018 semester, five students have been awarded a total of more than $31,000. They include Miletzy Adorno (Nursing), Alyssa Chmielecki-Callahan (Nursing), Tamesha Drew (Nursing), Ana Perez (Nursing), and a Nursing school student who wishes to remain anonymous.
As the final part of the presentation, Penders introduced Dr. Carlita Cotton, professor of psychology at Goodwin.
“I was fortunate to be raised by a professor who realized that sometimes enrichment experiences, social opportunities, a free textbook, or even a hot meal can make the difference between academic success or dropping out for a student,” Cotton shared.
“It was not unusual for us to share our resources, our dinner table, or even my clothes with Mom’s students. Watching her blessing her students was so transformative for me, that I knew one day I’d be a giving teacher, just like Mom.”
To honor her mother’s spirit of generosity and educational legacy, Cotton has established the Alexinia Young Baldwin Ph.D. Fund to support Early Childhood Education students at Goodwin. She encouraged her colleagues to join her in helping smooth the path for students. “A little extra help can make the difference between staying in a class or dropping it and further delaying degree completion,” she said.
“The Goodwin culture is one of giving,” Cotton added. “We give our time, energy, and indeed part of our lives to the students we serve for the privilege of giving them an opportunity to serve others. Because helping is what we do at Goodwin.”
To learn more about support for deserving students, please visit www.goodwin.edu/giving or contact Director of Advancement Holly Winters at (860) 291-9934 or HWinters@goodwin.edu.