Foundation Scholarship reception brings donors and recipients together


Courtesy of Missouri Southern

Donors of various Missouri Southern Foundation Scholarships were on hand Monday, April 10, 2017 in the Connor Ballroom to meet with the benificiaries of there donations.

Faith Scheidemantle

The Missouri Southern Foundation scholarship reception was held at 6 p.m. on April 10, 2017 in the Billingsly Ballroom. This occasion gave Southern students an opportunity to spend time with the people who are helping pay for their education. According to MOSO Minute, scholarships totaling nearly $850,000 were awarded to more than 450 students for the 2016-17 academic year.

            Chelsea Conley, director of donor relations, organized a special night during which donors and recipients could enjoy some time together. Many of the individuals in attendance made comments about how pleased they were with this year’s reception. There were smiles on many faces as the donors were finally able to pull a chair up next to their scholarship recipient and ask them about their ambitions.

            “This was my third year attending this event. It’s always an honor to gather with donors and fellow scholarship recipients,” said Tinsely Rutledge, junior English education major. “It’s a good reminder of how lucky we are to live in an area with such a generous community that’s dedicated to seeing us succeed in our academic careers. I always look forward to hearing how the donors are connected to MSSU and why they chose to create a Foundation Scholarship.”

Mr. Mike Wilson, a foundation scholarship donor, was the guest speaker for the evening. Wilson explained that he created a scholarship fund for Southern students after his wife passed away. Wilson selected the first student to receive the Dianna Wilson Memorial Scholarship in 1994, and he continues to personally select students each academic school year. His wife passed away from cancer at age 40, and Wilson wanted to do something that was special in her honor. He told his kids that donating money for someone who truly deserved it was the perfect cause.

“Eighty percent of Southern students are on financial aid, but I was concerned about the 20 percent who ‘make enough’ but don’t qualify for anything. They just make enough to get by,” said Wilson. “My kids and I look for people who go beyond. We want to reward them, but we also want them to earn it.”

Wilson told the reception guests that it is important to set an example for his own kids and all of the people around him. He said that he always takes time to stop and think about the people he has reached with the Dianna Wilson Memorial Scholarship. Wilson knows it is important to donate for a good cause, and he hopes to lead others by his example.

“We want to be involved with kids who want to help themselves,” Wilson said of himself and the other foundation scholarship donors.