In mid-September, the Goodwin College Foundation hosted its annual Fall Scholarship Reception at the school’s main campus in East Hartford. Each fall, the reception brings donors together with the students who have benefitted from their generosity, particularly those students who are near to receiving their long-awaited degrees but need additional financial assistance meeting their tuition and expenses.
During the fall selection cycle, 25 scholarship recipients were named and invited to the event, giving those who provided scholarships the opportunity to hear first-hand how the students’ lives would be affected. It was an afternoon of heartfelt sharing and moving testimony.
Still, something didn’t quite sit right with East Hartford residents and established donors Frank and Ceil Collins, who attended the reception.
Frank currently serves on the Goodwin College Foundation Board. From the start, he set out to understand the needs of today’s career-focused college students and to help build resources aimed at their success. In 2014, Frank and Ceil established the Collins Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides support for East Hartford students nearing the end of any degree program at the College.
The Collinses have added to the fund annually since it was established. For them, it is a way of not only supporting individual students, but also of recognizing and becoming part of Goodwin College’s mission to educate a culturally diverse student body while building bridges across education, commerce, and the community. “The need is great, and the reward for helping hard-working Goodwin students is even greater,” Frank said in a brief program at the reception. “We just love this place.”
The following week, Frank called the Goodwin Advancement Office for an update on the balance in the Fund and expressed his and Ceil’s intention to make a second gift to their endowed scholarship fund this year — and to give an additional scholarship early next year at the same time the Collins Endowed Scholarship recipient is selected.
“In three short years,” says Holly Winters, Goodwin’s Director of Development, “they will have grown their endowed scholarship fund by 50% and given an additional scholarship. What an incredible model of generosity and community spirit! And what a message to our students that others believe in their dreams and are working along with them to make them come true.”
What inspired the Collinses to increase their support? “You couldn’t listen to those scholarship recipients speak at the reception and not want to give more,” Frank explains. “When we heard there were 83 qualified applicants for the fall and the Foundation was only able to award scholarships to 25 of those students, we thought, we have to do more. We can’t sit by, listen to their stories, and not give more to make it possible for all those students to continue and finish with a degree. We have to do better.”
As the reception drew to a close, Ms. Winters reflected on what it means to be generous. “People give for many reasons. For Frank and Ceil, I think it makes them feel good to know they are having a profound impact on some of our students, not just for today, but far into the future. They will be extending a helping hand to Goodwin College students long after we are all gone. What a statement, what a gift.”
To learn more about supporting student scholarships, please visit https://www.goodwin.edu/giving/scholarships or contact Greg Jordan at 860-727-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org.