A record-breaking amount of nearly $480,000 in scholarships will be awarded this year by the Allan Hancock College Foundation.
The college’s 45th annual scholarship awards banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 22 in the Joe White Memorial Gymnasium at the college’s Santa Maria campus. Nearly 800 students, relatives, friends, donors and community members will attend the event.
A total of 413 scholarships ranging from $500 to $10,000 will be awarded to 266 students. The number of scholarships and recipients also broke records. The total amount of almost $480,000 represents a 56 percent increase from the $307,000 awarded by the foundation in 2013.
“The generosity of our community is inspiring,” said Jeff Cotter, the foundation’s executive director. “It’s amazing how much of a response we have seen this year from our friends and neighbors because they believe in our students and believe in Allan Hancock College.”
Eight new scholarships will be awarded this year, including the Richard Lim Amido Jr. memorial scholarship that was established in memory of the late Allan Hancock College counselor, who passed away last March at age 38. He graduated from Hancock before earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cal Poly. A first-generation college student transferring to Cal Poly in the fall will receive $500 in Amido’s memory.
Lorrie Bubb established the Pass it On! scholarship this year to support a low-income parent who is improving his/her family’s quality of life through education. Bubb has been taking classes at Hancock for 15 years.
“My son received a scholarship for college, so I know how important any financial assistance can be,” said Bubb, who will be one of nearly 180 donors this year. “I am always willing to help people who are working to improve themselves. I hope someday the winner will pass on the generosity to someone else.”
A scholarship committee composed of 15 Hancock faculty and staff determined the recipients from nearly 500 applications.
“Once again, we had an impressive applicant pool,” said Toni McCracken, the foundation’s scholarship program coordinator. “Our faculty and staff did an amazing job encouraging students to apply.”
Applicants were notified last month that they would receive a scholarship. However, they do not know the specific scholarship or dollar amount, which makes for a night to remember for hundreds of students and donors.
“The awards banquet will be filled with many joyful moments,” Cotter said.
“It’s my favorite night of the year,” McCracken added.
The keynote speaker will be Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin Walthers, Ph.D.
— Sonja Oglesby is a public affairs coordinator for Allan Hancock College.