Phi Theta Kappa Awards First Oberndorf Scholarships

Jackson, MS – Selected as the first Oberndorf Scholars, 10 Phi Theta Kappa members have been awarded a total of $5,000 in scholarships. Selected from nearly 100 applications, the scholars receive scholarships of $500 each to further their associate degree studies.

Phi Theta Kappa’s new Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship helps Phi Theta Kappa members overcome unanticipated financial barriers preventing the completion of the college credential, an associate degree or certificate, while enrolled in the two-year college. This newest scholarship was created through a collaborative effort between benefactors Rosemary and Lou Oberndorf, the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and 2011-2012 International Officers Tameka Wilson, Danielle Swartz, Esteban Smith, Sarah Yates and Jeremy Mathis.

In 2011 Lou and Rosemary Oberndorf challenged the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation to raise $125,000 in order to receive a one-to-one challenge grant. When it was announced that the challenge was met at the 2012 Annual Convention, the Oberndorfs challenged the Foundation to raise another $125,000 that they will match one-to-one, resulting in a total $500,000 endowment for the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship.

Up to ten Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarships will be awarded four times per year (January1-31, April 1-30, July 1-31 & October 1-31) and each scholarship recipient will receive $500 once the student has submitted documentation of enrollment in a minimum of six semester hours and an official transcript showing a minimum 3.0 GPA has been maintained.

“We are very grateful to Rosemary and Lou Oberndorf and donors to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation for reaching the goal of the first challenge grant and making these scholarships available to our members,” said Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director and CEO Dr. Rod Risley. “Congratulations to our first recipients. Without a doubt the Oberndorf Scholarships will make a tremendous impact on the lives of these hard-working, high-achieving students — making it possible for them to complete their associate degrees.”

The first Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship recipients are:

Anonymous Recipient, Hudson County Community College, New Jersey

Raymond Dillon, Seattle Community College, Washington

Margaruette Finney, Hennepin Technical College, Minnesota

Chantal Keliihoomalu, Honolulu Community College, Hawaii

Remona Laing, Black Hawk College, Illinois

Amanda Lingenfelter, MiraCosta College, California

Muneer Muneer, Richland College, Texas

Sara Ross, Northeast Texas Community College, Texas

Gladys Sanchez, Kishwaukee College, Illinois

Miguel Vega, South Texas College, Texas

“Every Phi Theta Kappa member, advisor, alumnus and administrator has the ability to make a difference for students struggling to complete,” said Phi Theta Kappa Foundation CEO Dr. Nancy Rieves, “Help us meet this one-to-one challenge of raising $125,000 by the end of 2013 to create a $500,000 endowment to fund the Lifeline to Completion Scholarships. Visit”

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 the support of existing and the establishment of new endowment funds. For more information on how to contribute to scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa members through the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, contact Dr. Nancy Rieves, CEO, at 1.800.946.9995, ext. 3537.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, 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. Learn more at

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