Lander University held its annual Eleanor Shiflet Teal Scholarship Banquet recently, and the event, held in the Finis Horne Arena on campus, attracted more than 400 people.
It was an opportunity for students to meet the donors who made their Lander scholarships possible. During the 2013-2014 academic year, 440 Lander students received scholarships donated by alumni, friends of the university and businesses. Wes McAllister, president of The Lander Foundation, said, “Donors are special to the university.”
Three scholarship recipients were the featured speakers at the event. Lisa Olan, who is from Anderson but now lives in Greenwood and is a senior nursing major, recounted how, at the outset of her studies, her husband was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. She said he insisted that his illness, which required medical treatment as far away as Charleston, not interfere with her schooling. Olan was able to continue attending classes and completing her clinical requirements until he died on Sept. 18, still insisting that she continue pursuing a nursing degree.
Bredai Raffaldt, of Chesterfield, a senior business major with a healthcare management emphasis, and Meagan Smalls, of Huger, a business major with an accounting emphasis, also spoke. All three women agreed that the scholarships allowed them to concentrate on their studies without having to hold down jobs at the same time. And they encouraged students, after they graduate and are financially able, to support Lander’s scholarship program.
Ralph Patterson, vice president for University Advancement, echoed their sentiments saying, “The support of our past, current and future donors helps make a college education affordable for thousands of Lander students.”
A.R. Charnes, chair of the foundation’s scholarship committee, said donors seem to have a passion for small colleges. “We are thankful to them for being able to help young people.”
For information about creating a scholarship or donating to one, call Lander’s University Advancement office at 864-388-8350.