Philanthropy event celebrates College of Science donors
CLEMSON – With over $900,000 in private endowed scholarships awarded to Science students in the 2017-2018 academic year, the College of Science has plenty to thank its donors for. A celebration event on April 5 in a meeting room at the Clyde V. Madren Conference Center aimed to do just that.
The event brought together students who have received private endowed scholarships and the donors who created them to mingle and, in some cases, meet each other for the first time. A select group of undergraduate researchers were also in attendance to share with the donors some of the current research projects being led in the College.
Dean Cynthia Y. Young introduced a short list of speakers by acknowledging the importance of donors in advancing Science forward.
“You are evidence that one person, one gift, one family can have a transformative impact that radiates for years to come. Partnerships really do have the power to turn the impossible into the inevitable, and all of you are living examples of that,” Dean Young said.
Erin Smith, a junior in biological sciences, received the Dr. Larry E. Vereen ’63 Scholarship at the beginning of the academic year. She attended the donor celebration event to meet Vereen himself, and to express her gratitude in receiving the award.
“This scholarship gives me peace of mind knowing that I’m not going to have to worry in my future about more debt,” Smith said. “I’m hoping to go to medical school, and I’m already going to have plenty of debt from that, and I don’t want to add undergraduate loans on top of medical school loans.”
Smith intends to take a gap year in Australia after graduating before beginning medical school.
Two donors in attendance were Tripp and Anne Jones, the creators of the G. Tripp Jones, M.D. and Anne B. Jones Scholarship Endowment. The couple met each other in the late 1960s in their studies at Clemson. To pay it forward, Anne created the scholarship in Tripp’s name for his 50th birthday. Anne’s name was added to the endowment a few years later on her own 50th birthday.
The couple’s scholarship is awarded to Lexington County residents who are studying biological sciences in the College of Science on a need-based status. It was disbursed to eight students in the 2017-18 academic year.
“To me, Clemson is everything. It’s family. I wouldn’t have met Anne if it hadn’t been for Clemson, and it’s just a privilege coming back here,” Tripp said. “It means a lot to give back to Clemson.”
Anne echoed Tripp’s feelings as she described the story of a scholarship recipient who was able to graduate because of the couple’s endowment.
“There was a young lady we met back in January who had to drop out years ago in the ’90s because life got in the way. But because of our scholarship, she was able to come back and finish her degree,” Anne said. “When she told us that, I almost wanted to cry. I was just so happy that we had been able to help somebody.”
Forty-three percent of students university-wide received a private endowed scholarship in the current academic year. Of that proportion, 736 College of Science students – both graduate and undergraduate – were funded.