As students are beginning or continuing their educational journey at Sampson Community College, the college’s foundation donors play a vital role in supporting scholarships in order for students to accomplish their educational goals.
The Sampson Community College Foundation cultivates community support for the college and seeks funding from the private sector to support the college mission. Gifts to the foundation fund student scholarships and support staff and student programs. The foundation also promotes the college though community outreach events.
For the 2015-16 year, the foundation has awarded $103,000 in scholarships, which represents more than a 30 percent increase from the previous year. Several new scholarships are being awarded for the first time: The Underwood, the Mary Teachey Moore, the Cyrus Faircloth, the Billie Carroll Clark, the Phyllis Bedsole and Michael Gore and the Carlton and Lynell Martin.
This past Wednesday, Sept. 9, scholars and donors participated in the 6th Annual Scholar-Donor Cookout, an event that has grown every year.
“I think this annual event represents the best of our community and the community-college relationship,” said Dr. Bill Starling, vice president of Academic Affairs at Sampson Community College. “It’s about local people and businesses giving encouragement and financial support to students who need and deserve help. Too often we assume that federal financial aid meets the needs of all students. It doesn’t. Many part-time and working students are ineligible. Foundation scholarship funds enable a number of young adults to stay in school and complete their educational goals.”
With two types of scholarships through the foundation, some are endowed scholarship funds that have been built over the years and pay a percentage of the fund if it has reached a level of $10,000; other funds are annual awards that local businesses, civic groups and individuals contribute yearly. There are also a few combination of the two where endowments continue to build while the donor contributes the scholarship amount.
“It’s a real pleasure to see the scholars and donors come together for such an important event,” SCC Foundation President Lyman Horne stated. “The real opportunity with an event of this nature is the heartwarming exchange of hearing the ‘thank you so much’ and the ‘you’re very welcome.’”
“For me, the Scholar-Donor Cookout is something that I look forward to every year,” noted Foundation board member and annual giving co-chair Paul Viser. “It’s a chance to mingle with the student scholars in a casual and unhurried atmosphere. The event is always a reminder to me of why the Foundation even exists, indeed why the college even exists.”
Sponsors for the 2015-16 Scholar-Donor cookout included US Foods, Southern Style Barbecue, Williamson Gas and Coke. Many on the SCC staff also volunteered to help make the event a success, including Amy Noel, Marleen Powell, Blair Hairr, Brandon Wiggins, Bill Starling, Carole Phipps, Laurie Hamilton, Wanda Capps, Holly Brewington, Dan Grubb and Janna Bass.
“It is such a pleasure to host this event where we can really see the fruits of the foundation’s labor,” Sampson Community College Executive Director Lisa Turlington remarked. “Our students have a chance to meet and thank donors personally for helping make education a reality. Our patrons appreciate the opportunity to visit campus and see firsthand how Sampson Community College is making a difference in this community.”
For more information about donating to the Sampson Community College Foundation, or for scholarship information, visit www.sampsoncc.edu or call 910-592-8081.