Graduate Scholarships: Providing for the Future

by Christy Gazanian '07

On Thursday, December 7, APU’s School of Education and Estate Planning in the Office of University Advancement hosted a reception for APU graduate scholarship recipients and the donors whose support enables the university to provide these scholarships annually. Donors, scholarship recipients, faculty, family, and friends gathered to celebrate the ongoing support and its impact on individual students.

The three scholarships recognized included the Jessamine Hopkins Hardcastle Encouragement Grant, the Alice V. Watkins Scholarship, and the Ernest L. Boyer Teacher Scholarship.

William and Esther Boyer, brother and sister-in-law to renowned educator Ernest Boyer represented the Ernest L. Boyer Teacher Scholarship. This scholarship is administered by the Boyer Center at Messiah College, and annually awards $1,500 to a senior planning a career in education who carries the essential qualities which Boyer found necessary for becoming a good teacher. APU is one of five schools selected by the Boyer family to receive this annual scholarship.

Julie Jantzi, Ph.D., director of faculty for APU’s Center for Adult and Professional Studies, attended to represent the Jessamine Hopkins scholarship and shared its purpose. This $600 grant is given annually to three single parents enrolled in a Center for Adult and Professional Studies Program or working toward a credential or master's degree in education or business at APU.

Award recipient Alicia Presley came to the reception with her two daughters and her mother. She expressed her gratitude for the scholarship and how it's helped support her education. “I appreciate it in that we can use it for whatever we need,” said Presley. “It is a great encouragement.”

Alice V. Watkins, Ph.D., dean emeritus of education and behavioral studies, represented the scholarship established in her name. This annual $500 scholarship exists for those academically qualified and enrolled in a leading graduate degree or credential program who demonstrate financial need. Watkins expressed her personal hope for the award, “to provide some assistance for graduate students who are challenged to go to school full time while managing families and school and jobs.”

Grace Clune, a recipient of the Alice V. Watkins scholarship, spoke about the benefits this aid afforded her and her family as she strived to return to school while continuing to be a good mom to her sons, ages 5 and 7, both special needs kids.

Helen Easterling Williams, Ed.D., dean of the School of Education, shared with attendees about the university's vision to expand the availability of graduate scholarships. “If we are going to educate the teachers in the classroom we have to focus on special education, cyber education, and international education,” said Williams. "We need more scholarships. We have so many deserving students.”

The Graduate Scholarship Recipient Program is about making education a reality for all students. “I cannot help but be overwhelmed with joy at the legacy at this gathering," said Williams. "Your example of excellence, and determination is being passed along.”