It can be hard to remember how much even a little bit of scholarship support can help sustain a college student both practically and in more profound ways. The English department has made a strong effort over the past years to make available a set of endowed scholarships, as well as awards supported by smaller donations from faculty and alumni, that recognize the distinct skills, needs, and passions of our English majors. In addition to congratulating those currently our current endowed scholarships, we are particularly pleased to announce our first three English Alumni Scholarship recipients.
The first of these scholarships of $500–the funding for which comes from recurring faculty and alumni donations to English–have been dedicated to students with financial need and those seeking enriching study abroad experiences. One of these recent recipients, Aracelia Skridulis, describes what this award has meant to her:
Without scholarships, there is no question as to whether or not I would have been able to attend the College of Charleston, a privilege that I am grateful for every day that I walk among its buildings. It is only through scholarships that I can financially manage to come to this college, because while I work while enrolled full time, and while I still take out student loans, this opportunity is only possible because of every dollar that I have received from scholarships, including the English Alumni Scholarship. I am the first in my family to go to a four-year college, and my mom did not even graduate high school. I thank those who contribute to the funding of the Alumni Scholarship: it makes a huge difference and takes a burden off of any recipient’s shoulders.
Junior Catherine Sanders was the first recipient of our English Alumni Scholarship dedicated to supporting students studying abroad. In the summer of 2016, she studied on a trip led by Creative Writing faculty Bret Lott and Gary Jackson to Spoleto, Italy. “Spoleto is also Charleston’s sister city,” Catherine writes, “and the home of the original Spoleto Arts Festival. I, along with twelve other creative writing majors, minors, and enthusiasts, took a Creative Non-Fiction course and a Futurist Poetry course.” It wasn’t all work of course, she is quick to note. “We traveled constantly, to Florence, Assisi, Orvieto, Castelluccio, Cortona–all of the most precious cities Italy has to offer.”
Junior Erin Davis is the most recent recipient of an English Alumni Scholarship. The extra funding has allowed her dedicate more time to pursuing studies and internship: “I have just completed an internship at the Charleston City Paper where I got a good glimpse into the field of editorial writing and editing,” she says. “I have also had a few pieces published in the past, which has helped me understand the publishing process. I can’t thank the English department enough for this scholarship.”
We are so proud of these students, and so glad that we can offer the support we do. But there is always much more that we can do, and we greatly appreciate the continued support of our alumni. Please consider giving to the English department–even a small amount can make a lasting impact.