Endowed Scholarship ceremony provides networking opportunities for meritable students

By Jack Clark '19

Photo: Megan John, Nautilus Staff
The Bernice E. Powell Maritime Education Scholarship was presented to students by Helen Jenswold during the Endowed Scholarship evening.

 

On October 26th Texas A&M University at Galveston held its second annual Endowment Scholarship reception. This ceremony recognized over seventy students from many diverse backgrounds to celebrate their accomplishments. Students applied for scholarships early in the year, and after their applications were reviewed they were hand selected to receive various awards. The reception invites the donors who provide the scholarship to see the campus and meet and mingle with the awardees. Every scholarship is different. For some there are only one recipient, while others can have up to seventeen. Nevertheless, every award is special and unique as it recognizes the accomplishments of each individual. 

Some of the scholarships are named in memorial to lost loved ones. By providing the scholarship, families give the opportunity to recipients to continue the values and beliefs of the scholarships namesake. Often times the memorial scholarship reflects an individual who had a passion for the water and studies that take you out of the classroom. All the students exemplified values of leadership and ethics. In addition to success in the classroom and an active dedication to the hands on side of learning, all recipients give justice to the standards set by the donors.

Connor Costello, ’18, was honored to receive the Joseph B. Morreale Memorial Award from the O’Donel family. At the event he was given the opportunity to meet the donor and build a relationship for the years to come. “It was a good thing, I got to meet and talk about the scholarship with their entire family, grandmother, and daughter. They asked me about my major and they got to talk to me about their time in college” said Costello whose hometown is Lake Jackson. “It was good to see that over 80 students were getting scholarships and have all the donors show up,” Costello mentioned.

The event has nearly doubled in size compared to the year before. The first floor lobby of OCSB could barely accommodate the growing event. However plans for next year are bright with the expected new waterfront pavilion that will begin ground breaking this year. The new banquet room and pavilion area behind OCSB will host the event in the future, and should have plenty of room for expected growth of the reception. Some of the donors that were at the Endowment scholarship were Captain Jack Smith who was in the first class to graduate from the Texas A&M Maritime academy. Another in attendance was Commander Jim Sterling who started the Sea Aggie Band back in 1969, and later revived the band back in 2011.

The reception gave donors a chance to give back to a program that has given them so much. The opportunity to help with the financial cost of college to a promising student helps promote good values and a sense of community. Beyond the value of the scholarship is the relationship the donor creates with the student. Costello said that, “they told me to call them anytime to go and get lunch.”  For many of the students, it is their first time to understand the full grasp of how the Aggie network relates to the Aggie family.