UNION, N.J., November 21, 2013---Every November, something a little bit magical happens in Kean University’s Harwood Arena. The cavernous gymnasium is transformed by dozens of small celebrations as scholarship recipients sit down to lunch with their donors at the annual Scholarship Recognition Ceremony. The 2013 edition of this event, held on Sunday, November 17, was no exception.
Meeting and thanking their scholarship donors is a requirement for Kean’s scholarship recipients. Accordingly, students and family members mingled with donors during the luncheon, with students taking the opportunity to express gratitude while the donors got to hear first hand about the students’ academic pursuits.
Speakers at the event included Kean University President Dawood Y. Farahi and Steve Fastook, chair of the Kean University Foundation Board of Directors. Fastook, who works for cable network CNBC as its vice president for technical and commercial operations, told the audience that the Foundation had awarded nearly 300 scholarships to deserving students for the current academic year. “Our goal is to see our scholarship program continue to expand so that it can serve an ever-increasing number of students,” he said. “So I ask all donors to please keep doing the good things you’re currently doing—and please do what you can to bring new donors on board so we can widen the pool of students who can be helped with scholarships at Kean in the years to come.”
A musical performance was provided by cellist Justin Seibert, recipient of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship. The featured student speaker was Samantha Garcia, recipient of the Robert Busch Annual Scholarship in Design and an aspiring graphic designer. Garcia spoke of her gratitude for being able to pursue an educational path that had been denied to her talented but financially constrained parents.
“At a young age they had to accept that without financial means, their dreams would have to remain just that—dreams—and together they walked away from them,” she stated. “Robert Busch’s scholarship is part of the solution to achieving my dream. My donor has helped me to continue my passion for design, making a difference in my and my family’s lives. From all of us, thank you.”
Busch, a member of the Kean University Foundation Board’s executive committee, recently created and funded two new design scholarships—the one awarded to Garcia, and another one for incoming freshmen. He is also the benefactor of the Robert Busch School of Design, a division of Kean’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.