Thanking Scholarship Donors
Oswaldo Aguirre ’06 knows his scholarship has taken him to places he never could have imagined without it. From performing CPR in the back of speeding ambulance at 3:00 a.m. to dissecting a facial structure as a first-year medical student at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Aguirre ties his journey back to the Posse scholarship that brought him to Dickinson.
“Believe me, Dickinson prepares you to maneuver these extreme situations,” said Aguirre at the annual Donor Scholar Luncheon on Sunday, April 18. “Dickinson prepared me in ways I’m still discovering.”
Aguirre was one of more than 240 students, alumni, parents and friends of the college who gathered for the annual event celebrating the power of scholarships. In addition to giving donors an opportunity to meet the students they support, the annual luncheon offered President William G. Durden ’71 a forum to formally thank those donors. Noting that the rising cost of higher education makes scholarships increasingly vital, Durden reported that alumni, parents and friends of the college have provide $33 million in scholarship gifts to Dickinson since the start of the First in America campaign, creating 70 endowed scholarship funds. [Article continues below.]
“It is especially heartening that, even in these difficult economic times, our donors are willing to make personal sacrifices by continuing their support so that Dickinson will be affordable for all who desire and deserve it,” he said. “While it is clear that you understand the importance of offering the opportunity of a Dickinson education to deserving students, it is still difficult for us to express adequately our appreciation for your generosity.”
The event also featured commentary from Rod Pera ’62, chairman of the Sandia Foundation, which has provided more than $30 million in scholarship support to Dickinson students during the last four decades. Pera related how Hugh and Helen Kisner Woodward, both class of 1908, settled in New Mexico after graduating from Dickinson and established the foundation, which supports both the University of New Mexico and Dickinson.
“Their Dickinson experience gave them the perspective to understand how important education is and the gratitude to want to give back,” he said. “Wherever you go for the rest of your life, Dickinson stays with you. … It stayed with the Woodwards, and we at the Sandia Foundation hope it stays with you.”
By Matt Getty
Photos by A. Pierce Bounds '71