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Alumni Contribute to Oberndorf Scholarship Challenge

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The Ohio and Virginia Regional Alumni Associations have taken a leadership role among alumni associations with recent and generous donations for the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship Challenge, citing the need to “pay it forward” to today’s members in gratitude for their own Phi Theta Kappa experiences. They are among several alumni associations responding to the second matching challenge issued by Rosemary and Lou Oberndorf to raise an additional $125,000 by December 31, 2013, in order to fully fund a $500,000 endowment for the scholarship.

Members of the Ohio Region Alumni Association attended the 2013 Annual Convention in San Jose.

Phi Theta Kappa's Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarships help Phi Theta Kappa members overcome unanticipated financial barriers preventing the completion of a student’s first college credential, an associate degree or certificate, while enrolled in the two-year college. The scholarship was created by a collaborative effort between benefactors Rosemary and Lou Oberndorf, the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, and the 2011-2012 International Officers.

Up to $20,000 in Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarships are awarded annually to help Phi Theta Kappa members complete.

Heather Clippinger, President of the Alpha of Ohio Alumni Association, said the alumni raised the funds for Oberndorf and four regional scholarships by selling merchandise and themed raffle baskets at regional meetings and the Annual Convention.

“Many alumni in the Ohio Region have received scholarships thanks to Phi Theta Kappa,” said Clippinger, who also made a person contribution. “It is imperative to continue to pay it forward to the current membership so they have opportunities like we had."

Sondra Holbert, past President of Alpha of Ohio, said she and other Ohio alumni made personal gifts in addition to the Oberndorf Challenge by purchasing Convention pins at the 2013 Annual Convention in San Jose.

“We all know the importance of credential completion. However, life factors often prohibit the completion of a program -- some individuals are dropping out of school due to financial constraints in order to support themselves and their families,” said Ohio alumni David Kerr and Connie Myers-Kerr. “The Oberndorf Scholarship offers an opportunity to help individuals stay in school and complete their associate degrees or certificate programs.”

Deb Dale, Secretary of the Virginia Region Alumni, said she felt privileged to contribute to the Oberndorf Challenge and noted that the alumni association raised funds through a portion of new alumni registration fees, sale of products, donations from individuals, and challenges extended to association members. 

“Why do we help? We have all experienced financial burdens. We have each been touched by a generous benefactor at one time or another. We value the benefits of education,” Dale said.  “When an opportunity arises to give back a portion of what we have so richly received, we will do all we can to rise to the occasion and lend assistance.”

Alumni and Annual Giving Coordinator Courtney Taylor noted that the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation had also received gifts from the Indiana Region Alumni Association, Athens State Phi Theta Kappa Alumni (AL), and the New England Region Alumni Association. 

Foundation CEO Dr. Nancy Rieves said Phi Theta Kappa is now within $14,000 of reaching the goal and noted that the Foundation has received contributions from five associations and nearly 100 chapters in addition to regions, alumni, advisors, college presidents, corporations and organizations.

“Donations of all sizes, from both groups and individuals, are pushing us toward our goal to fully fund the Oberndorf Scholarships,” she said.

To make your donation and help us finish the final stretch of the challenge, click here