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Staff Give Back

March 24, 2009

An endowed scholarship fund begun by Baylor staff members to assist deserving students has raised close to $5,000 in gifts and pledges during its first year.

In 2007, the Baylor Staff Council began looking into the creation of a scholarship fund with a goal of raising at least $25,000 over a five-year period. That's the minimum amount needed for an endowed fund to begin distributing its earnings as scholarship money to students.

The fund, called The Endowed Scholarship Fund Honoring Baylor Staff, was begun in 2008.

"The Staff Council wanted to take a leadership role in supporting the University by creating this scholarship fund," said Angela Funai, Baylor Staff Council chair. "We love working here, and there are so many people who are dedicated to what they do at Baylor. This is just one more way staff members can reach out and show our support to the students we serve."

The students who will eventually receive the scholarships will be chosen on an unrestricted basis using the standard Baylor financial aid criteria, requiring a minimum 2.5 GPA average for any need-based scholarship.

The scholarship fund attracted contributions from both staff and faculty as well as gifts made in honor of others.

"If someone has a boss or staff member who has done something spectacular, or if maybe someone has lost a loved one, we want to suggest honoring that person by making an honorary or memorial gift to the scholarship fund," Funai said.

Susan Smith, budget associate in the dean's office of the Hankamer School of Business, made a donation to the scholarship fund last year in honor of Evelyn Hupp, budget manager for the business school.

"Bosses Day was just around the corner, so I decided this would be a great gift for Evelyn," Smith said. "She has served at Baylor for 32 years and loves the school and its students, so I knew this gift would be special to her."

Phylicia Hernandez, office manager for enrollment management, honored one of her supervisors, assistant vice president for enrollment management Diana Ramey, with a similar gift to the scholarship.

"I chose to honor Diana in this way because I wanted to give her something lasting and meaningful," Hernandez said. "I support the scholarship fund because I love this university, and I have been able to experience firsthand the struggles our students go through trying to make ends meet. What better way to give back to Baylor than by supporting our students?"

Baylor President David E. Garland encourages faculty and staff to consider making a gift to the fund.

"I know that I would like to contribute to this fund in honor of the many of the staff who have given invaluable service to me during my time at Baylor," he said.

To support the scholarship fund, visit the "Endowed Scholarship Fund" page from the Staff Council website.

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