A Special Bond: Tailoring Scholarships

By: Magazine Editor
Oct 18, 2011

On a recent weekday afternoon, junior Jayneé Jones met Anita Maddox Jackson ’80 for lunch at the Skylight Room at UMBC. The two greeted each other as friends not only because Jones is the grateful recipient of a scholarship endowed by Jackson, but because of the background and interests they share.

Both women grew up on the Eastern Shore and both study – or in the case of Jackson, studied – health administration and policy at UMBC. It’s a match made in scholarship heaven.

Seeing them together, it is clear that Jackson’s intent as a donor has been realized.

“I just wanted to form-fit my scholarship to me and my interests,” said Jackson, director of economic development at BGE and past president of the UMBC Alumni Association Board of Directors. “I know how difficult it was for my family to pay for my books. And I knew if I ever had an opportunity to help a student who was coming from a similar situation, I would do it.”

UMBC offers numerous opportunities for donors to tailor their gifts to reach students of all sorts. Just as Jackson’s endowed scholarship is given annually to a student from the Eastern Shore who demonstrates a commitment to the advancement of minorities, other specialized scholarships make meaningful connections between donors and students.

A group of donors who endowed the Esperanza Scholarship, for instance, recently made their first award presentation to junior information systems major María José Viera Cuéllar, a native of Bolivia. The award presentation was attended by nearly forty people.

“This event provided an opportunity for donors to see firsthand the positive impact their generous contributions have made in the life of this deserving student and will make to future students committed to the advancement of minorities especially of Hispanic or Latino descent,” said Stanyell Bruce, Associate Director of Alumni Relations.

In the case of Jackson and Jones, there’s clearly a connection that goes beyond what was stipulated in Jackson’s scholarship application. “It’s more than the money,” said Jones. “It’s about making connections and networking. That’s the best part…getting to know Anita.”

Originally published Fall 2009

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