College of Arts & Sciences Celebrates Donors, Scholars
“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for generous, good people,” said Jakob Ganschow, University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of Philosophy senior. He, and a room full of fellow arts and sciences students, had an opportunity to thank their donors for the gift of education.
Ganschow explained that he started college because his job at UPS offered tuition reimbursement, which (supplemented with other scholarship awards) paid for him to attend community college full-time. He is currently a recipient of the Don and Lucille Armacost scholarship.
The UMKC College of Arts and Sciences’ Donor-Scholar Luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 27 featured inspiring stories of student scholars from nearly 18 different academic departments.
“State support for higher education is declining,” said Arts and Sciences Dean Wayne Vaught, adding that donor support is critical for students to attend college.
“Scholarships help to ease the financial burden of students looking to attend college, and their families,” Chancellor Leo Morton highlighted in his welcome remarks. This particular point has continued to reverberate across campus as many UMKC schools and colleges this semester are celebrating scholarship recipients and the donors who provide them opportunities to take advantage of higher education.
If it weren’t for the generosity of donors, neither Ganschow nor Bachelor of Arts in Psychology candidate Jennifer Collins-Stiner would be able to attend, and complete, college debt free in May.
“Gratitude, growth and generosity impact my life,” Stiner expressed in her scholarship impact remarks. Stiner, a recipient of the Osher Reentry Scholarship, shared her journey with attendees and recounted the stress she felt as a mother of two when trying to figure out how she was going to pay for college.
“My children are dreaming of college,” said Stiner, adding that scholarship donors not only impact students’ lives, but families as well.
Children’s Mercy Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation David Westbrook spoke to the audience about scholarship impact from a donor perspective. Having overcome his own obstacles as a blind young adult after graduating from UMKC in 1971, Westbrook explained the importance of giving when you obtain wealth.
“You who give opportunity for education are leaving a legacy,” said Westbrook. “Education is a liberating influence in a democratic society.”
In his philosophical studies, Ganschow said he realizes “everything I am is because you are.” He further explained he is able to receive an education because there were people generous enough to fund scholarship opportunities. After graduation, Ganschow plans to attend graduate school, and hopefully be able to teach. He would someday like to run for office and provide a more philosophical approach to politics.
Also planning to attend graduate school, Stiner is currently working with her faculty mentor on piloting research on schizophrenia in Kansas City.
“I was privileged to have a donor fund my opportunity for education,” said Westbrook.
“Scholarship donors recognize the worth of higher education, but they also recognize the price tag,” said Stiner.
Gratitude, growth and generosity are the perfect ways to sum up the relationship between donors and scholars in the College of Arts and Sciences and UMKC.
Kelsey Haynes | Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications