Giving: Spring 2018
Author: PSU Foundation
Posted: May 26, 2018

Scholarships change lives

THIS SPRING, Portland State and the PSU Foundation held their annual gathering in honor of scholarship donors and recipients. Nearly 200 guests—including students, donors, faculty and alumni—joined together to celebrate the power of giving to create life-changing opportunities for students.

Bill Boldt, president and CEO of the PSU Foundation, opened the program and spoke to the deep impact that philanthropy makes on campus. Last year, for example, donor support funded scholarships for 2,850 promising students across the University.

“One in three PSU students will not complete their degree due to financial need,” Boldt said. “Scholarships give us an opportunity to change this—to help every motivated student find their path, finish their degree and make a better life for themselves and their families.”

KEYNOTE student speaker Auna Castellon is the recipient of the President’s Equal Access Scholarship. She shared her personal story of how, as a first-generation college student, a scholarship offered her much more than financial support.

“After receiving a scholarship, I found that I became more confident—not just in myself but in my abilities,” she said. “It gave me the courage to advocate for myself and others.”

Castellon is a senior preparing to apply for graduate programs in post-secondary adult education leadership. She earned her associate’s degree from Walla Walla Community College in less than one year before transferring to PSU. On campus, she works four different jobs and participates in the McNair Scholars Program—a specialty program designed to prepare first-generation students for doctoral studies.

Castellon ended her remarks with an encouraging message to the students, alumni and supporters in the room.

“For all those of you who have come a long way in their pursuit of higher education, I want to say that I see you,” she said. “Your work matters, and this is just the beginning.” –written by Rebecca Olson, PSU Foundation Marketing and Communications.

Caption: Elizabeth Perez, a Vernier Scholar at PSU, was honored at the spring scholarship reception.