College reception connects scholarship recipients to donors
— The Cecil College Foundation gave this year’s scholarship recipients an opportunity to meet with contributors during a breakfast reception for about 270 people, including donors, students and other special guests, at the Rising Sun Banquet Hall.
“The future of this county lies with the students who are seated with you today,” said Mary Way Bolt, president of Cecil College. “Help them be successful. Your continued generosity is needed to ensure our students stay enrolled and complete their degree, certificate or certification. Lack of resources is the number one reason students drop out or don’t start college to begin with. Scholarships make a difference in the lives of our students.”
Around the time Samantha Laubach began Cecil’s physical therapist assistant program in January, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Laubach, a full- time student paying for college on her own, wants to earn a doctorate and has a goal to help make a change for the better in people’s lives.
“I have seen the stress and struggle this challenge has put on my mother and father and see the care they receive at the hospital,” said Laubach, who is the first recipient of the Sean M. McCormick Memorial Scholarship. “I want to be that caring person for others who are going through similar struggles. I would like to humbly thank all of the donors and the Cecil College Foundation for graciously helping not only me but all of the students here get one step closer to reaching their goals.”
Garret Vanhorn passed on a chance to begin his collegiate studies at a prominent four- year institution because he did not want to rack up a sizeable debt that would follow him around for many years.
Entering his third year at Cecil, pursuing degrees in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering and civil engineering as well as physics, Vanhorn has no regrets about his decision, which has been aided by scholarships, including the Orbital ATK Scholarship this year. He hopes to transfer to the University of Maryland to continue his studies in aerospace engineering.
“Cecil’s engineering program is fantastic,” Vanhorn said. “The classes are great, and the professors are hands- on, ready to help at any time, and always a quick response and email away. I am so thankful for receiving a Cecil College Foundation scholarship, and I am glad to call Cecil College my college. I have come to realize that Cecil College is the only place I would want to start my education and soon to be career in space. This school has made my dream of graduating debtfree a sound reality.”
Laubach and Vanhorn received two of the 346 scholarships totaling $ 280,250 for the current academic year. The Cecil College Foundation, Inc. has presented around $ 2.8 million in scholarships since 2000.
Cecil College graduate William Thompson, a previous scholarship recipient, spoke about his educational and career success. Thompson, who earned two bachelor’s degrees at Northern Michigan University and a master’s at San Diego State University, is a computer scientist at Aberdeen Proving Ground and is enrolled in a doctorate program at the University of Delaware. Since leaving Cecil, he has also worked as a software developer and a researcher, and he started a company focusing on real estate technology and market prediction.
“Cecil is most definitely the springboard that launched my adult life,” Thompson said. “You may not understand the direct impact of your generosity but understand this, you have believed in, supported and invested in the future of this country and this county.”
The event also included the annual presentation of the McIlwain-Shotyk and Edith Suzanne Brown Memorial Stethoscope Fund awards to nursing students. This fund was established to ensure the nursing students of Cecil College have high quality stethoscopes to advance their learning experiences.
“From the time of your birth to the moment of our death, we are touched by a stethoscope,” donor Cynthia McIlwain said.