The Auburn Scholarship Campaign is a new initiative dedicated to building funds to support current students and future scholars who will enhance the intellectual potential on campus. It is dedicated to providing the brightest students, who are the Spirit of Auburn and Academic Scholars, additional scholarship funds. The campaign will increase endowed scholarship funds for Auburn students and give the university the ability to attract quality students.
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One of the development officers, Mary Baird, said she speaks with alumni to raise private donations. Baird said, “The best gift alumni can give is money for a scholarship because there is great personal satisfaction in knowing they are helping students who may not have been able to attend Auburn otherwise.” Students who have received scholarships from donations have also made speeches to alumni about how it enabled them to attend Auburn, to encourage the campaign.
Students who have a 3.0 gpa are eligible to apply for academic scholarships. From there, a scholarship committee decides who should receive the scholarships. There are committees for specific colleges and even departments.
Donors can decide on the terms of the agreement or commitment for their scholarship money. They can designate the scholarship to go to a certain type of student, specific department or even for a specific cause, like studying abroad. Donors are allowed to make the terms as specific as they please, but they are encouraged to keep them as broad as possible to ensure that there are students who meet the criteria to receive them. The donors get to name their scholarship, and many of them choose to honor someone who has passed away or who was special to them, like a professor.
William Koons III, an Auburn alum from ’77, described his reason for donating money for a scholarship: “I wanted to give something back to Auburn; a place that has given my family and me so much. Although I have given to the university in the past, this initiative was especially appealing. I wanted to give something to academics by creating an endowment for scholarships. Combined with my company’s matching gift program, this was an easy opportunity to capitalize on.”