“Thank you” are two of the simplest yet most powerful words in the English language. The Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon held at the Columbus School of Law on March 28 provided an opportunity for students to express their gratitude to benefactors whose financial generosity brought the dream of law school within reach.
The luncheon equally recognized scholarship donors, recipients, and honorees. More than anything, it was an occasion to celebrate “the ties that bind all of us,” in the words of law school Dean Daniel Attridge, who told the scholarship donors in attendance that “you choose to help not because you have to, but because you want to.”
Catholic University’s law school currently has 33 endowed scholarships, another 12 that are Named Scholars (annual or multi-year), and seven more that are in progress.
For students such as 3L Sanchelle Charles (left), a native of Trinidad, the availability of such financial support options has made all the difference. As a recipient of the Urban A. Lester Scholarship Fund (named in honor of the late CUA Law professor), Charles has used her time in law school to maximum advantage. She is a member of the Student Bar Association, a staff member of The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, and has also volunteered to assist area residents prepare their tax returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.
“These achievements were made possible by your investment in my future,” Charles told the luncheon audience. “It has helped remind us that someone else believes in our aspirations.” Second-year student Dave Levie also delivered remarks of appreciation.
The luncheon’s keynote speaker was Paul Serini, a 1983 alumnus and current member of the law school’s Board of Visitors who has made significant contributions to the Securities Program Scholarship Fund.
“The main beneficiary of any charitable giving may be the giver,” he stated. Serini is recently retired and pursuing a passion for philanthropy as the president and founder of The Helen J. Serini Foundation, a private non-profit organization focused on connecting at-risk and underserved youth with opportunities for improved healthcare, education and vocational training.
Serini noted that numerous studies have found a correlation between acts of charity such as scholarship support and positive benefits, such as lower stress and increased productivity.
“Giving makes us happier, healthier, and ultimately more successful,” he said.
Student scholarship recipients who attended the luncheon had the opportunity to videotape their appreciation, clips that will be shown to donors later.