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Student book-scholarship program begins

By Sally Harris

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 20 - February 8, 1996

The first recipients of 12 $150 book scholarships in the College of Arts and Sciences have discovered that both giving and receiving make life more enjoyable.

The seniors' previous giving of time and help to others was the reason for their receiving the scholarships to help defray costs of books their last semester at Virginia Tech. They were nominated by fellow students for their past contributions-whether it was setting a good example for roommates to get up and go to class or tutoring other students.

"The great thing about this book-scholarship program is that it was student conceived and student run," Dean Robert Bates said. "The book scholarships were the students' idea, and they developed the criteria and made the selections."

In a ceremony January 24, the scholarship winners were challenged further to be "ambassadors for the Senior Challenge," the program that made the money for their scholarships available. Thus the cycle of giving and receiving continues.

The following seniors were honored during the ceremony in Major Williams Hall: Andrew Heaton, Adina Hertzberg, Michael Burkhart, Amy Gershenoff, Heather N. Davis, Duane Thomas, Christopher Roberts, Mark Embree, Cara Cocking, Tara Bettinger, David Poole, and Kevin Jackameit. The students were welcomed by college Development Director Nick Conner and congratulated by both Bates and Provost Peggy Meszaros.

The money for the book scholarships came through Senior Challenge, a university-wide program run by students with the help of the Development Office. Through it, student volunteers ask seniors to leave a gift behind for the upcoming seniors.

Once the funds were collected, the College of Arts and Sciences challenged its students to determine the use of the money. Members of the Student Advisory Committee decided on book scholarships for seniors during their last semester.

"The seniors of 1995 decided to begin a tradition for each rising senior class, a tradition for the College of Arts and Sciences, that would acknowledge those who have contributed in some unique way to Virginia Tech," Bates said. "This shows the creativity and generosity of the wonderful students in the college."

The Student Advisory Committee decided that students would not be able to apply for the scholarships themselves, but had to be nominated by fellow students for service to other students, the college, or the university. Members of the Student Advisory Committee then met to choose the recipients from the nominations.

"Given a challenge of this nature, they chose to do something that could benefit students throughout the entire class," Bates said. He challenged the recipients to serve as ambassadors to help perpetuate the Senior Challenge, thus benefitting students of the future and continuing the cycle of giving and receiving.

"This year, we were able to give 12 scholarships," Conner said. "Next year, if the Senior Challenge is even more successful, we'd like to be able to give 20."