Scholarship recipients and donors celebrate together

“We are grateful to all of the scholarship donors here today who help make students’ dreams of a degree in the sciences come true,” said Sabrina Pribyl and Emma Lewis, recipients of the Leslie Cavarra Buttorff scholarship in statistics.

Pribyl and Lewis, who are both seniors, were chosen as this year’s student speakers for the College of Natural Sciences Scholarship Luncheon on Oct. 2. They addressed a crowd of nearly 300 donors, students, faculty, and staff who came together to celebrate the generosity of scholarship donors and the accomplishments of scholarship recipients.

This annual event serves as an opportunity for donors to meet the students who are impacted by their gifts. It is also an opportunity for students to be inspired by those who have come before them. Keynote speaker Denise Rutherford, senior vice president with 3M and the 2019 recipient of the CNS Distinguished alumni award detailed how her education at CSU inspired her to give back.

Rutherford credits her successful career to the education she received at CSU.

“I remember dreaming about a career that would challenge me and bring me joy; one that would allow me to be curious and explore new things and ideas; one that wasn’t just about earning a paycheck but would allow me to grow. And, with a solid CSU foundation I have been fortunate to achieve all of this and more,” she said.

Beyond financial support

“Every year I look forward to this special gathering because it brings together in one room people who care deeply about higher education and the value it brings to society and to our future,” said Jan Nerger, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. Addressing CNS’ supporters, Nerger said, “Your passion for education and investment in the college’s greatest asset – our students – collectively allows us to change the world. You are truly making a difference for individual students as well as for the greater good.”

Beyond financial support, scholarship donors give students hope, opportunities, and community.

“This scholarship not only helped me by releasing the financial burden, but it also helped me find a community here at CSU,” said Ryann Daly, a scholarship recipient studying chemistry.

For many students, just knowing that their scholarship donor believed in them enough to provide financial support helped them continue to move forward with their studies.

“To have someone out there believing in your dreams without even knowing you is such a blessing,” said Jose Rivera, a first-generation student and scholarship recipient studying chemistry.

Connection brings opportunity

Having a connection to scholarship donors has also allowed students to have opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have.

“This summer, [our scholarship donor] Leslie provided us with a paid internship at her company, Panacea, and she has become a mentor to us in so many ways,” said Lewis. “To be perfectly honest, when I first started at CSU, I largely defined post-graduation success through a financial lens. But my relationship with my scholarship donor has redefined success for me. Success now means reaching out to those around me, and someday I hope to [follow in Leslie’s footsteps] by mentoring students at my old high school and establishing my own support at CSU.”

“I want to say thank you to our supporters for their dedication to the college, our students, and higher education,” Nerger added.

As part of the celebration donors and students had the opportunity to take a photograph together.