KOKOMO, Ind. — As hard as he worked, Tyler Willhite could not mow enough lawns to pay his college tuition.
An Indiana University Kokomo scholarship made it possible for him to complete his degree in business, graduating in May.
Willhite thanked Paul Stanley, whose parents, Judge Merton and Thelma Stanley, endowed the scholarship he received, at the annual Chancellor’s Guild Dinner Tuesday (March 15). Paul Stanley continues to support the scholarship, given to a high-achieving student each year.
“The scholarship meant so much to me,” he said. “It has helped me achieve my one true goal, to graduate from college debt free. You have inspired me to be a scholarship donor one day.”
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke hosted the event, which honors donors who have given $1,000 or more in the last year.
She invited the 75 guests to tour the newly renovated Main Building, and gave a campus update. She spoke about the opening of the new Union Street Art Gallery coming up April 1, expanded overseas travel opportunities, the upcoming $1 million library renovations, and a new major in computer science.
“Without our donors, we could not do what we are doing,” she said. “With your partnership, we will continue to make an impact on people’s lives.”
Twenty-one donors were honored as members of the Seiberling Society, for giving more than $5,000 during the year. Each received an award hand-made by Kokomo Opalescent Glass.
First year Seiberling Society recipients were Steve Daily, Thomas and Kathleen Fingleton, First Farmers Bank & Trust, Hal and Sherry King, Richard and Betty Lasbury, NIPSCO, and an anonymous donor.
Second year recipients were Raymond and Mary Bonhomme, Community Howard Regional Health, Bill and Nancy Hunt, and Paul Stanley Jr.
Third-year recipients were Philip Kintzele, Dana Scruggs, and Marilyn Skinner.
Those recognized for the fourth year were the Milt and Jean Cole family, Judy Golitko, Jeff and Lisa Smeltzer, Solidarity Community Federal Credit Union, and Linda and David Wallace.
Fifth year Seiberling Society recipients were the Community Foundation of Howard County, and Kathleen Ligocki and Pete Rosenau.
Michael Koerner, assistant professor of new media, talked about the design center, which will be part of the new downtown art gallery. Under his direction, students provide graphic design services for not for profit and charitable organizations.
Judy Golitko spoke of her experiences as a student, alumni association president, and donor, saying that earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing gave her the confidence to earn a law degree in her 50s.
“My IU Kokomo nursing degree enriched my life, and allowed me to do things I’d been dreaming about,” she said. “Giving back is a way we can tell the students their lives matter, and we want them to reach their dreams too. I can’t think of a better place to put your money than IU Kokomo.”
Jan Halperin, vice chancellor for university advancement, said the Chancellor’s Guild dinner is an opportunity to thank donors, and show them how their gifts impact the campus and students.
“We are so grateful for their generous support and loyalty,” she said.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.