Donor Awards Are True Gifts

Photo credit: Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Photo credit: Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Bloch Scholarships Expand Student Possibilities

In these times of higher tuition, many students seek ways to fund their college education. The scholarships awarded to some Bloch students made a big difference in their college careers, allowing them to focus on their studies.

At the University of Missouri-Kansas City, approximately 94 percent of first-time freshmen receive one or more forms of financial assistance according to Kami Thomas, assistant dean for Student Services at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management.

“Thanks to the generous contributions of donors, more than 160 students were awarded scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year,” Thomas said.

The students gathered at a recent luncheon to thank the donors for their gifts, show their appreciation and share their stories.

Fifth-year student Tevin Williams is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in finance, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the Conservatory of Music and Dance. Williams said some might consider his fifth year as a victory lap, but jokingly said: “I think of it as the extended opportunity to secure my insights before crossing that border from academia to my professional career.”

Williams said the trek has been challenging, at times, with bumps in the road.

“I came across that spot when I lost my father during my first year at UMKC,” Williams said. “My father was a loving man and it is his good spirit that continues in my siblings’ lives and mine.”

Williams believed he had two choices – either take time to grieve or continue the semester. He chose the latter. At the time of his father’s death, he and his three siblings were pursing degrees, and it was at that time he decided to apply for a Bloch School of Management scholarship.

“It is because of the generosity from a once stranger – ‘a good Samaritan’ – that I get to share with you today. My Bloch scholarship not only allows for my immersion in one of the region’s most innovative programs, but it compels me to invest my time in questions of greater weight: ‘What will my degree provide for my community? How will I change my world to make it better? Because of this kindness expressed by my scholarship donor, I won’t have to settle for less, but instead, reach high and far for whatever they are with an action plan or road map to follow.”

Williams spoke eloquently on behalf of his fellow recipients, and a donor summarized reasons she and others continue to contribute. Hailee Bland-Walsh said she and her family understand and embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and the financial need of students.

“I love hanging out with and supporting entrepreneurs, especially students,” said Bland-Walsh, executive director of the Walsh Family Foundation and owner of City Gym KC. “My parents wanted to invest in the people of Kansas City, and partner with organizations like Bloch School and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. We established the Endowed Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scholarship to give back. I’m especially inspired to witness entrepreneurs who may change the world and who are getting started right here in our own backyard.

Thomas said that when Bloch considers financial aid, the primary goal is always to increase not only the number of awards, but also the amount awarded. They again were successful in achieving their goal, thanks in part to seven new recognized scholarships in the 2016-2017 academic year.

To become eligible for scholarship funds, students are required to submit a resume, an application and a personal statement. The application packages are reviewed by members of the school’s faculty and staff, and recipients are selected based on specific criteria set for each award.

To hear testimonials from scholarship recipients, visit here.

|Wandra Brooks Green, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

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