Former and present deans collaborate on scholarship

With the amount of money it takes to maintain his clarinet, freshman Josh Hill said he could use some help.

“Personally, as a clarinet player, we have reeds that can cost anywhere from $25 to $40,” Hill said. A new mouthpiece can cost around $300.

Hill and his classmates at the College of Fine and Performing Arts have inspired Dean Bryan DePoy to start a “unique” scholarship, known as the Reaching for Tomorrow’s Stars award.

Students can use the scholarship toward their tuition, textbooks, instrument repairs, art supplies, technology expansions and any other financial burdens.

“We had no general umbrella scholarship,” DePoy said. “This scholarship is a picture of what we are as an institution.”

DePoy said the college wanted to attract the best and the brightest students to the institution, satisfy the staff by working with students and help students make progress in their degrees.

DePoy is working with two former Fine and Performing Arts deans, Joseph Edwards and George McCloud, to endow the scholarship.

Catherine Cala, interim chief development officer, is working with DePoy to develop the scholarship. She said the suggested level for starting an endowment is $10,000. She said they have a goal of $100,000.

“Most scholarships are made in memory of a loved one or started by individuals who hold a certain area of study in high esteem,” Cala said.

In the case of the three deans, they see a need for the scholarship in their institution.

DePoy, Edwards and McCloud have provided $10,000 to start the endowment. They plan on reaching out for donations to reach the $100,000 goal. DePoy said he hopes that he can lead by example and encourage others to donate.

DePoy and Cala each said the scholarship is progressive.

“This is a scholarship students will be able to use throughout their academic career,” Cala said.

“It’s also designed to retain and ensure they can progress in their degree programs,” DePoy said.

DePoy said the scholarship would not be limited to only undergraduates.

“We’re also hoping to use this as a tool to expand our graduate program,” DePoy said.

Requirements for the scholarship include the student’s pursuing of his degree under the disciplines contained within the college. The student must also be in good standing and show progress toward a degree.

DePoy said he hopes that the scholarship can be used as a recruitment tool as well.

“To bring in the best students, we often have to seek them out. The extra scholarship dollars could make a difference in their decision,” DePoy said.

Junior Denny Monroe said he is excited that this scholarship will be used to bring in more passionate students.

“People often choose a path at college they’re less passionate about,” Monroe said.

He said he understands that as tuition increases, any financial burden that can be relieved from a student’s pocketbook can be helpful.

The number of students who receive, and the amount of money that will be paid out, will vary on the students who stay on track toward their degree and on the number of students being recruited.

“We need all the help we can get,” said senior Matt Ohlin. “We not only have tuition and fees, but maintaining instruments is costly.”

“I’m thankful to Joe and George for their willingness to finance and develop this scholarship with me,” DePoy said.