By Julia Straka, C’21

University of Richmond School of Professional & Continuing Studies awarded $38,340 in scholarship funds to 26 of its students for the spring 2019 semester, part of over $150,000 awarded for the 2018-19 academic year.

The school also received a fully endowed $100,000 scholarship fund from an anonymous donor for students to begin using starting in the fall 2019 semester.

In response, four scholarship recipients shared what their awards meant to them in letters and messages of gratitude.

Rebecca Hubbard, C’18, thanked the SPCS faculty for their dedication to her: “Thank you for all your help during my time as a student. It is rare to find a place where everyone cares so much about each individual student,” she wrote. 

Tawana Demery, C'20, a Reynold Metals Company Scholarship recipient, echoed Hubbard’s sentiments in her own thank you note: “Coming to the University of Richmond has been one of the best decisions of my life. Everyone cares that I do well, and I feel so welcome: I am not alone!” she wrote.

The support system at SPCS was also one of its main appeals to Brian Krach, C’20, another scholarship winner who is working towards a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies.

The impact of SPCS scholarships on those who will come in contact with SPCS graduates in future years was the focus of remarks Sarah Petty, C’20, shared. Petty is working toward a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts along with elementary teacher licensure. Krach and Petty spoke at fall and spring SPCS Alumni Association fundraising events. 

Tawana Demery felt inspired to pursue her own degree after attending her son’s graduation from Old Dominion University in the winter of 2017. “Now it is my turn,” she said. 

She recognized there was no opportunity for growth in her current employment without a college degree. Only two months later, she was laid off. 

Because of her scholarship, Demery is optimistic that she will finally earn her own diploma. She has even started planning her graduation party and bought her parents “Mom and Dad UofR” coffee mugs. They will watch her cross the stage at graduation just like she watched her own son. 

Like Demery, the financial support Krach received from SPCS also strengthened his “profound sense of stewardship,” he said. Krach returned to school to pursue a career in law so he could correct injustices and maximize his contribution to society. Receiving a scholarship that would help him do that not only motivates him to see his own professional goals through, but also to pass the goodwill on: “I will remember to turn around and give back as well,” he remarked, “so I can play a part in helping another SPCS student complete their journey.” 

Petty shared her appreciation for the value of scholarship funds in remarks recorded at the Spiders & Hops Fundraising Event at Kindred Spirit Brewing on April 11. The event celebrated the culmination of a highly successful UR Here Giving Day in which SPCS raised over $22,000, much of which will be used to support scholarships.

SPCS scholarship recipients are thankful for the support that donors are able to give them; support that extends beyond finances and into the values of a good education, professional growth and humanitarianism.