Arkansas State University - Newport

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November 2019

Message from Dr. Sandra Massey during the season of giving

The spirit of giving can change a life and inspire generosity and success

Arkansas State University-Newport recently hosted its annual Scholarship and Donor Recognition Luncheon. It’s a very special event where we honor not only our scholarship recipients but also the generous donors that make these scholarships possible. As I sat and listened to our student speakers and looked at the faces of our donors, I felt the spirit of giving in the room.

Our students rely heavily on us every day for financial, emotional and social support to complete their programs of study. The truth is, many don’t have the support at home to help them overcome the obstacles life and school can bring. From the single parents to those juggling full-time jobs, ASUN serves a number of unique students. The struggles they face are real, but with the help of scholarships and donations from those who see the value of an education, they can succeed.

I want to share with you some of the kind and inspiring words our student speaker, Garrett Smith, shared at the luncheon. His words capture how truly meaningful your giving can be to a student in need:

 “Small communities thrive off educated, well-rounded individuals like yourselves who strengthen our economy and enrich the surroundings where we call home. A college education is an amazing opportunity, but when one puts the pencil, paper, and calculator to use, they notice the financial burden it can bring to you and your family.  In the long run, however, I decided that statistics were correct and my opportunities and overall earning potential were greatly enhanced with a college education. Without the gracious donations of our private scholarship donors, obtaining an education could seem unfeasible. Being able to receive state-funded scholarships assisted, but the icing on the cake was receiving scholarships from community members. Knowing that individuals where I live want to see me succeed makes me push myself in classes and interpersonally in the community to represent not only ASU-Newport, but also the people who took time out of their life, and money out of their pockets, to see me succeed. I wish to become the best version of me that I can possibly be. Every morning when I wake up for class, every assignment that I complete, and every test that I take, I think about and am thankful for all the people who don’t see my face every day and possibly don’t even know who I am, but had enough trust in me to donate their money to better and ultimately change my life.”

Garrett is an ASUN Student Ambassadors and a graduate of Tuckerman High School. He is working to achieve his associate degree in business at ASU-Newport. He plans to transfer to Arkansas State University and become a sales agronomist.

Garrett is just one of many who expressed their hopes to give back to ASU-Newport students the way our generous donors have given to him.

Garrett’s message supports what studies have shown - that educated community members contribute more and take less from society. They take less from unemployment, welfare and other social programs. There is a greater likelihood that they will have access to health insurance and retirement benefits. They are less likely to be incarcerated and more involved in their children’s education. They have a greater understanding of political issues and are more likely to vote. And the list goes on. The bottom line is that when our kids succeed, we as a community reap the benefits  

Whether you sponsor a student scholarship or donate to the ASUN Annual Fund, your generosity creates opportunities for thousands of Arkansas students. Student scholarships, faculty and staff enrichment opportunities, purchasing new equipment for our many academic programs-these are just a few of the things we cannot do without your help.

Every contribution given to ASUN is cherished. Regardless of the amount, your charitable giving makes a difference right here in Jackson County and the Northeast Arkansas region. We understand you could give to many other wonderful and worthy causes, but we are so grateful you choose to support your community college. For that, we cannot thank you enough. At ASUN, we will continue to work hard and show you that your investment in our community’s future is worth it.