Willimantic, Conn. – On Oct. 15, Eastern Connecticut State University hosted its annual Scholarship Reception in the Betty R. Tipton Room of the Student Center. The event brought together major ECSU Foundation scholarship donors and their respective student-recipients. This year, more than 325 scholarships were awarded, totaling more than $750,000 in financial aid to students of all backgrounds and academic majors — both of these totals are Foundation records.
“We are relentless in our pursuit of increasing educational access and improving success rates of students attending our campus,” said Ken DeLisa, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “Everyone in this room should take pride in the fact that as recently as a decade ago the Foundation was only able to award $100,000 in scholarships.”
“This event allows us to see several hundred of our hardest working, most dedicated students in one spot at one time,” Eastern President Elsa Núñez. “We also have the pleasure of announcing a significant outpouring of support from generous donors who understand the value of investing in America’s next generation of leaders.”
This year’s reception also introduced one of the Foundation’s newest endowed scholarships, the John F. Kearney Jr. Scholarship Award. The scholarship was presented by Laura Kearney, wife of the late John Kearney. “John loved his years at Eastern. When he was reaching the final weeks of his battle with cancer, he wanted me to arrange this scholarship to help facilitate the education of future Eastern students,” she said.
Student Lisa Forcellina, a senior from Newington double majoring in early childhood education and psychology, spoke at the event, and said, “The gifts you have given open many doors for us as students here at Eastern. I think I speak for just about everybody here when I say thank you for allowing us to cross a few financial worries off of our lists.”