Building a Foundation for student success

By Kyle Hobstetter on May 4, 2019

The TU Foundation Scholars Celebration gives students who received scholarships a chance to meet donors

Since its inception in 1970, the Towson University Foundation has worked to provide the highest quality of education for Towson University students. 

Through their tireless work and the generous support of donors, the foundation has been able to award more than 775 TU Foundation Scholarships to students. 

On Thursday, May 2, The TU Foundation Scholars honored both donors and scholarship recipients during the TU Foundation Scholars Celebration inside the University Union.  The event provided a space for foundation donors to sit down talk with students they have helped through their generous donations. 

Edna Primrose ’84 was one of the event’s featured speakers and has helped to establish the Primrose-Better Scholarship which will assist College of Business and Economics students from Prince George County who have contributed significantly to the TU Community.

Primrose created the scholarship in honor of her mother, and will start awarding the scholarship starting this fall. Coming from a single-parent home, Primrose understands the importance of scholarships to help students make their way through their college journey.

“I owe everything to my mom and everything to Towson University, so it’s a perfect fit,” Primrose said during her speech. “Whether it’s a dollar or a million dollars, you’re making an impact and you have an opportunity to really create change.”

For the students in attendance, they each used their scholarship to help guide their education in different ways.

For Inayzha Wallace ’20, her scholarship helped her complete a study abroad program in Cuenca, Ecuador where she studied Spanish.

The Biology major, who is working towards becoming a doctor, wouldn’t have been able to afford that opportunity if it wasn’t for her scholarship.

“It gave me the opportunity to embrace another culture, embrace another language,” Wallace says. “It allowed me to relax a little and not worry about my financial situation, but also help with this experience and help me focus on my school work.” 

“ Whether it’s a dollar or a million dollars, you’re making an impact and you have an opportunity to really create change. ”

Edna Primrose

Elizabeth Durrant ’19 was able to use her scholarship to help continue her path to become a music professor and earning a doctorate degree.

Starting next fall the Severn, Md. native will be attending graduate school at North Texas University to study music ecology. Through her scholarship she was able to visit the campus and find that it was the right fit for her future.

“When I first came to TU there was this warm welcoming environment that I really liked," Durrant says about her choice to come to TU. “This event really confirmed that feeling, getting to meet donors and thank them in person, because of them I get to take my next steps.”  

Nicole Robinson ’19, was working long hours as a waitress to help pay for school. With her scholarship, the nursing major was able to cut back from her waitress job to get a second job as an extern at Harbor Hospital.

Along with getting job that gives her more nursing experience, the scholarship has allowed her to relax and focus not only school, but also be a (somewhat) normal college student. 

“I thought I wasn’t getting the scholarship and then I opened that letter and I just cried,” Robinson laughs. “I worked two jobs through nursing school, and now I’ve been able to relax and take a little time off and focus on my education.”

For Nicholas Saccente ’19, the New Jersey native wanted to get right to work. With the help of his TU Foundation scholarship, he was able to fit in seven classes this semester to help him graduate on time. 

After he graduates in May, the Computer Science major will start work as a data scientist for a defense contractor in southern Maryland. Saccente says if it wasn’t for his scholarship helping him to pay his rent, he wouldn’t be graduating this year.

“That money goes a long way,” Saccente says. “The peace of mind of having your rent paid, or your books paid for, or if your car breaks down like mine did three weeks ago…that peace of mind provides a student with insurance and it just takes a load off and goes a long way.”

Saraubi Harrison ‘19 is another Computer Science major that will graduate this spring. Harrison received the Mid-Atlantic-CIO Forum Scholarship, as well as the Porter Family Scholarship in Mathematics and Computer Science and was also a featured speaker during the event.

Harrison is a first generation student who grew up in Washington D.C. who said she wouldn’t be here without scholarships. Now after she graduates, she will be moving to Seattle to start work as a software engineer at Amazon.

“Having a foundation scholarship means everything to me because it’s one less financial burden for my parents,” Harrison says. “There is so much untapped potential in the world, and they just don’t have the funds for education, and as donors continue to donate and build these scholarships, you’re giving access and opportunity to all these students who can’t afford to do it on their own.”

For students interested in getting a scholarship, learn more about how to apply. Potential donors who are interested can learn more about the TU Foundation and the scholarships they offer.

Towson University's Celebration of Excellence

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This story is one in a series that highlights Towson University's Celebration of Excellence, a series of 10 special events each April and May that are designed to celebrate success and outstanding accomplishment at TU.

The series ties together key events and provides a perfect path leading up to the ultimate recognition event: commencement.

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: Culture of Philanthropy.