Palm Beach Atlantic donors met the students whose education they’re making possible in a special Scholarship Day celebration on Tuesday.
Laura Bishop, executive vice president for advancement, reminded donors that they’re investing in students who will one day lead the country and change the world.
“Your giving is transforming lives,” Bishop said.
Ryan Fink, a Master of Divinity student and the first recipient of the Walter B. Arnold III Scholarship, opened with prayer. First Presbyterian Church of North Palm Beach created the scholarship in honor of Arnold, who pastored their congregation for 40 years and who serves as a PBA trustee.
Dr. Nancy Brainard, vice president for enrollment management, described the elation of delivering the good news to a student that he or she can complete their PBA degree because of the generosity of a scholarship donor.
“Thank you for making miracles happen,” Brainard said. “You play an important role in making students feel seen, like they’re supposed to be here.”
After showing a video of the first three recipients of the Dr. Terriel Byrd Scholarship, Byrd thanked God as the head of his life and thanked the donors who made the scholarship possible. The recipients are Mariyah Fletcher, Angelo McCaskle and Gia Smith.
“The students who receive the scholarship do more for me than the scholarship does for them,” Byrd said. “I celebrate because they’re striving for excellence.”
The scholarship is a seed, one that Byrd hopes will grow into a “mighty oak” for the Lord, he said.
Kevin Greene, an international student from Guatemala, shared how much scholarships mean to him as the son of support-raising missionaries. Greene, the recipient of the Anne E. Dorsey Scholarship, is pursuing a degree in finance.
Greene quoted Proverbs 11:25: “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Greene shared how he has grown spiritually and professionally since coming to PBA.
“Donors, you are refreshing our lives,” Greene said. “We’ve grown memories, we’ve grown friends and we’ve grown in Christ.”
Donors’ generosity also helps students live out Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
The celebration included a musical performance of “Give Me Jesus,” sung by Miriam Edele, Jacobson Trust Scholarship Recipient and an intern with the LeMieux Center for Public Policy. Joanna Zein-Eldin, a junior studying popular music, accompanied Edele on the guitar.
President Dr. Debra A. Schwinn concluded the evening with a word of thanks for donors and encouragement for students, followed by a prayer.
“We want to say how grateful we are, not only for your financial support but undergirding us with your encouragement, with your care, with your love,” Schwinn said to donors. “Students, you are each worth investing in. Everyone in this room wants to see you thrive, succeed and be everything that God is calling you to be.”