- Michael C. Anglin
Often referred to as “gift aid” since they do not have to be repaid, scholarships are instrumental in helping a majority of ASU students graduate with little and often no student loan debt. At the same time, creating scholarships gives alumni and friends of the university a lasting and meaningful way to memorialize loved ones and friends, and if they wish, to reward students in specific fields.
ASU’s most robust gift aid offering, the Carr Academic Scholarship Program, automatically awards academic scholarships to about a third of ASU students. It is funded by the Robert G. and Nona K. Carr Foundation, which was founded in 1978 and boasts an endowment that has grown to more than $130 million.
Additionally, at the Eighth Annual Scholarship Dinner in April, more than 800 students had the opportunity to meet some of the more than 240 donors. Recipients included senior Allison Price of Carrollton, a double-major in mass media and business administration/marketing, who won the Wayland Yates Memorial Scholarship.
“I apply every year to get scholarships,” Price said. “I come from a single-parent family and I have a younger brother, so applying for scholarships is important. It really helps financially, but also being able to meet the people who created the scholarships is inspiring.”
“Getting scholarships,” she added, “also encourages me to continue to make good grades and to excel in all my classes. I am grateful to the donors. It really makes a difference for a student.”
Dr. Leslie Mayrand, dean of ASU’s College of Health and Human Services, is one of the many donors who have established scholarships in memory of family members and friends.
“I established the Kathleen L. Mayrand Memorial Scholarship in honor of my mother and the Karen B. Mayrand Memorial Scholarship in honor of my sister,” Mayrand said. “My sister received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Angelo State University and taught accounting for a number of semesters as an adjunct. She loved working with students, and after Karen’s death, a number of her former students contacted me to say what a difference she had made in their lives.”
“My mother never had the opportunity to go to college,” she continued, “but she was one of our biggest supporters, often saying, ‘You can achieve anything you want.’ My mother loved ASU. I could not think of a better way to honor these beautiful women than to establish a memorial scholarship for each.”