College celebrates donors, recipients of scholarships

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Aromi Knox, an elementary education major from Round Rock, was among the College of Education faculty, staff and students gathered at UNT's Apogee Stadium Club to show their appreciation to the college's scholarship donors.

The event was designed to pay tribute to those individuals whose generosity helped fund scholarships awarded by the college for the 2012-2013 academic year. The College of Education and its departments awarded $137,000 to 161 students this year.

George Morrison and his wife Betty Jane support several scholarships in the college. Morrison, professor and director of Success for Life Programs, said they support the university's strategic plan, specifically the goals of providing the best undergraduate experience in Texas and expanding community partnerships.

"Betty Jane and I give because we are blessed to be part of this great university," he said. "We are blessed by the colleagues I work with, by the students I teach, and by the opportunities the university provides for me on a daily basis. We give because the university and the College of Education give to us and make our lives better, and by giving we can pass those blessing on to others."

Above, from left, scholarship recipients doctoral candidate Rania Salman and Knox, College of Education dean Jerry Thomas, Betty Jane and George Morrison.

Knox, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries at the Sept. 25 event, said scholarships relieves a financial burden that helps her pursue her dream of becoming a college graduate.

"My scholarship inspires me to take more responsibility and pride in my work," she said. "I feel that I am not only representing myself as a College of Education student, but my mother who has a huge hand in who I am today, and also my donors because they have invested in me and believe in my future success in the education field."

Cristina Funes, a senior sports recreation and leisure major, said she attended the dinner for a simple reason - to express her gratitude.

As one of seven children, Funes, said she transferred to UNT, in part because of the scholarships she was awarded.

"I felt like it was incredibly important to be here to thank all the donors. I want to show them that what they are doing really does make a difference. It makes all the difference in the world."

Funes, the recipient of the $500 Julia Wakeley Scholarship, said she has been able to pay for her college education by applying for as many scholarships as possible.

"The amount of each scholarship isn't important," she said. "It's about the total you get when you add them together."

(Photo by Mike Duran)

- Jaime Blanton, URCM/Division of Advancement