Graduates, participants from two scholarship programs recognized at events

April 23, 2024 (Volume 47, Number 17)
Article by Michele Coffill

Graduating students and participants from two scholarship programs, Thompson Scholars and Battle Creek Pipeline Scholars, were recognized at separate celebratory events.

Battle Creek Pipeline Scholars
Supporters of the Battle Creek Pipeline Scholars program celebrated its first two graduating students April 13 in the Kirkhof Center.

Jonah Hurtado-Macias and Dai'Mion Banks were among the first cohort of pipeline students to enroll at Grand Valley in 2020. The scholars program was among the efforts from a five-year partnership with Battle Creek Public Schools and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Hurtado-Macias spoke to the audience about his journey as a first-generation student from a Mexican American household. He will earn a bachelor's degree in international business and marketing.

"None of my achievements would have been possible without the transformative opportunity provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through the Pipeline Scholarship program," he said. "This scholarship has not only alleviated the financial burdens of pursuing higher education but has also served as a beacon of hope and possibility for me and those around me."

Attendees at the celebration learned that the Pipeline Scholars program has a 93% retention rate. 

Peer mentors received pins to recognize their support of incoming students in the program. Provost Fatma Mili and Kara Van Dam, chief executive of OMNI, also gave remarks.

Thompson Scholars
Thompson Foundation trustees and staff members attended the April 19 event in the Kirkhof Center. Bob and Ellen Thompson established their initial Grand Valley scholarship in 2008. Since then, more than 1,100 students have received scholarships through one of several Thompson Foundation programs.

Student speaker Johanna Delaney, who will earn a bachelor's degree in business administration and marketing, said receiving a Thompson Foundation scholarship "paved the way for her future."

Delaney said she was raised by her mother who worked three jobs.

"I learned the value of hard work and perseverance from her," Delaney said. "Her support and the support of Bob and Ellen Thompson have paved the way for my future and lifted the weight of a financial burden off my shoulders."

President Philomena V. Mantella told the students in the audience they have a responsibility to carry on as recipients of this scholarship.

"I ask you to think about your story," Mantella said. "What's the story you want to write? And I ask you to keep gratitude in your heart and keep giving back to the next generation."


Across Campus

This article was last edited on April 23, 2024 at 12:27 p.m.

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