OSU Institute of Technology’s annual Student Scholarship & Donor Recognition Banquet, held March 12, presented students and patrons an evening to meet and greet while giving students a genuine opportunity to say thanks to those who have graciously contributed to their education.
The banquet dinner, prepared and hosted by OSUIT Culinary Arts program, provided an opportunity for students and donors to get to know one another. They were able to share stories of education and industry and learn the impact of the scholarships for each student and their future.
“I depended on scholarships and I never got the chance to sit across the table at a banquet with somebody that established that scholarship and say thank you,” said Dr. Bill Path, OSUIT president. “Students, tonight you have that rare opportunity to talk to someone who has actually created a scholarship.”
This year’s featured donor speaker was Donnie Jones, vice president, Power Supply Operations for OG&E. Jones holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also a certified Six Sigma Blackbelt. Jones is a member of Leadership Oklahoma and serves on the boards of the Advanced Science and Technology Education Charter School and Boy Scouts of America Last Frontier Council.
“When you think about today’s world, the technology is something people think and talk about all the time,” said Jones. “That’s why this school is so important because the world in just 10 or 15 years will be completely different. When I talk to my plant directors, we talk about how we are going to face the future. It all begins with the individual we hire today. When I go to them and let them know I have OSUIT interns coming out, every hand goes up ‘I want them!’, that is the importance of this school.”
This year’s student speaker was Shellie Waller. Waller, a recipient of the Art Plus scholarship, is currently pursuing an Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Design Technology from the School of Visual Communications. She is originally from Missouri, but grew up in Mexico, where her family served as missionaries. She now lives with her husband in Preston, Oklahoma. Waller said she believes the things that matter most in life are finding joy in the small things of life, like family and faith.
“This scholarship helped build my confidence. It helped encourage me to persevere through some of the hard times in my life and showed me the strength to face the future. As a student, I was working part-time and attending class part-time, I really just saw the school as a way to build my skills to keep going in my job. The more I got involved, I realized this was something I am truly passionate about which would then cause me to have to quit my job to pursue my education. I was so indecisive, but once finding out I had been awarded the scholarship, it was confidence that people believed in me.”
The scholarship allowed Waller to quit her job so she could pursue her education full-time and also helped provide her with the time needed with her family during a difficult season.
Learning how much the students value scholarships is an important message for donors to hear. On the other side of the table, the donors were able to share with students their success and why they choose to give back.
“I hope this leaves an impression on each of the students that are here that someday, you can be that donor and you can make that difference in the lives of other students as you advance your career,” said Dr. Path.
To learn more about becoming a scholarship contributor at OSUIT, call the OSU Foundation at (918) 606-8313.
For more information on receiving scholarships at OSUIT, contact the Student Financial Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.