Phi Theta Kappa Awards Hites Scholars $75,000 in Scholarships

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JACKSON, MS - Ten two-year college students have been named recipients of the 2012 Phi Theta Kappa Hites Transfer Scholarship, receiving a total of $75,000 to assist in the attainment of baccalaureate degrees.

Hites Scholarship Program

The Hites Transfer Scholarship Program, made possible by support from the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation and the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of Phi Theta Kappa members.

Scholarships of $7,500 each were awarded to 10 students based on applications submitted by members. Students enrolled in associate degree programs and eligible to transfer to a regionally accredited baccalaureate degree-granting senior institution in the fall of 2012 were eligible to apply. Judges reviewed and scored applications for academic rigor, engagement, and leadership.  The 2012 Hites Transfer Scholars were selected from more than 2,300 applicants worldwide.

"When the Hites Foundation and Phi Theta Kappa joined together a few short years ago to take the initial steps toward establishing the endowment, none of us anticipated the severity of today's economic challenges facing both students and colleges," said Phi Theta Kappa's Executive Director Dr. Rod Risley. "The Hites Transfer Scholarships are helping to meet a need that becomes more crucial every day - helping our students follow through on their commitment to complete by providing financial assistance to make earning a baccalaureate degree possible. We are grateful for our partnership, and we congratulate these 2012 Hites Transfer Scholarship recipients."

The 2012 Hites Transfer Scholarship recipients are:

Anastasiya “Stacy” Bagrova, College of Lake County, IL

Bradley Conley, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, MN

Julie Cronin, State Fair Community College, Sedalia Campus, MO

Kimberly DeBruler, Cedar Valley College, TX

Adam James, Pima Community College, East Campus, AZ

Julieth Ochoa, Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus, FL

Jessica O'Keefe, Chipola College, FL

Faith Proper, Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth Campus, FL

Denice Grace Sy, Skyline College, CA

Raymond Velazquez, Colby Community College, KS

View the Hites Transfer Scholarship program information at http://www.ptk.org/become-a-member/scholarships/hites. Completed applications for 2013 Hites Transfer Scholarship must be submitted in the Fall Common Application, available at https://my.ptk.org/edge/login/index.php, due online by 5:00 p.m. CST, December 3, 2012.

In 2007, the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation challenged the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation to raise $350,000, which would be matched almost 2-1 by the Hites Family Foundation to create the $1 million scholarship endowment. During the Society's 2009 Annual Convention, Foundation Trustees announced that Phi Theta Kappa had not only met, but exceeded the challenge, and the Hites Foundation issued a second, equally-successful matching challenge. In 2010, the Hites Foundation gave an additional $250,000 grant to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation for the scholarship endowment to allow more scholarships to be awarded to Society members.

The Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation was established by Robert Hites, an executive with Ralston-Purina in St. Louis, Missouri. Upon his retirement he fulfilled a lifelong dream and became an instructor at St. Louis Community College.

Robert Hites turned down opportunities to teach at prestigious senior institutions because he valued the educational experience offered by community colleges, and he witnessed the determination and will to succeed of his community college students. He also came to understand their needs, and was determined to help them achieve their dreams, as he had achieved his.

"Anyone managing 'financial' investments recently has had their work cut out for them," said Ray Hites, President of the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation's Board of Trustees. "However, 'investing' in students ... 'investing' in education ... 'investing' in future generations of Phi Theta Kappa members and helping them achieve their goals and dreams. Those are 'timeless investments' ... 'recession-proof' investments."

The Phi Theta Kappa Foundation is focused on long-term financial stability for Phi Theta Kappa. It is dependent upon the generosity of individuals, organizations, foundations and corporations to ensure its future through support of existing and establishment of new endowment funds.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,280 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.