"This year's dinner was the best among all the ones I have been to thus far," says Teslote E. Tadesse '11. The Scholarship Appreciation Dinner that takes place every year in Wilson College drew together scholarship donors, scholarship representatives, faculty, staff, students and their families on Fri, Sept. 24 in the Jensen Dining Hall.
There was an air of gratefulness from the very beginning of the dinner. The pianist Denny Hoke did a great job of helping it remain. The actual ‘meeting' of the scholarship recipients with their donors heightened it further. Some were meeting their benefactors for the first time. For others, it was a reunion. It was a significant moment for everyone, nonetheless. It was especially wonderful to see all these remarkable Wilson women from different classes gathered together.
The dinner is called "The Scholarship Appreciation Dinner." The name speaks for itself. All the speeches stressed the importance of scholarships. Dr. Emerita Gwendolyn E. Jensen, whose tenure as a president left Wilson College a much stronger institution, joined the celebration along with her husband Gordon. President Jensen and her family support two scholarships at Wilson. She was one of the guest speakers for the Dinner along with her scholarship recipient, Christina Sauter Vosburgh '11, and Mary Ann Naso, Vice President for Enrollment.
Dr. Jensen's speech led us into the past, when she helped create and expand the award-winning Women with Children program. She mentioned how scholarships are especially important to mothers who have added responsibility along with their academics, and who have made the bold decision of giving completion to their studies. She explained how every time you "give," you contribute to the ‘healing" of the world. Sharing some interesting stories of scholarship donors and recipients, she encouraged everyone to be a part of the "healing" process: "As we develop self sovereignty…individual happiness, individual development, in the solitude of our own individual, it is really important to become a part of, to contribute, to the general good, to the healing of society, where you find yourself. At Wilson, this is what we do."
Christina Sauter Vosburgh'11, currently enrolled in the Wilson Women with Children program, shared with us how the scholarships she received helped her immensely. All of us scholarship recipients could, in a way, relate with Christina's story. Says Jing Luan '11, "I really appreciate the scholarship dinner because it gives me a chance to get to know my scholarship donors and to express my gratitude for their generous support." For some of us, our scholarship is the sole reason our Wilson education is possible. For many of us, they are not just a form of financial help. They are a source of inspiration. They give us a reason to better ourselves with every opportunity. It was very humbling to see so many Wilson alums and other donors giving back in such a significant way to Wilson. We walked away with a feeling of pride, responsibility, and immense gratefulness.