Col­lege re­cep­tion con­nects schol­ar­ship re­cip­i­ents to donors

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - SPE­CIAL TO THE WHIG

— 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.

RIS­ING SUN

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.

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