More than 1,150 Grand Valley students have received scholarships from a philanthropic Michigan couple who believes in the power of education and its ability to make a significant difference in someone's life.
Bob and Ellen Thompson, through their Thompson Foundation, have given more than $11.5 million to Grand Valley, supporting students through the Thompson Working Families and University Prep Academy scholarship programs.
Ethan Cordes, who is majoring in exercise science, said receiving the Thompson Working Families Scholarship (the university's largest scholarship program) allows him to "focus 100 percent on school" and not worry about taking out loans to finance an education.
Communication studies major Landyn Teachout also earned a TWFS and said it will greatly reduce her college debt.
"During the summer months I work at Target full time and during the school year I am a resident assistant," Teachout said. "The Thompson scholarship will go a long way to help pay for school. It has always been my goal to pay for the majority of my college experience through working and obtaining scholarships."