Student Philanthropist: From Friend to Friend to . . .

Stephanie Elowson ’08 received help from the class of 2006, and now helps inspire her own class to continue the tradition.

Stephanie Elowson ’08 told a recent Faculty/Staff Campaign rally that the generosity of a scholarship she received had made a world of difference in her IC education—and that she plans to return the favor by joining with classmates to establish the Class of 2008 Scholarship as their senior class gift. Stephanie was one of several scholarship recipients who addressed a gathering of Ithaca College staff and faculty to garner support for the Faculty/Staff Endowed Scholarship, which will be a collective gift from IC employees to the Campaign for Ithaca College. Here are excerpts from her October 4 speech:

I am a senior double-majoring in business administration (concentration in marketing) and integrated marketing communications. Last semester I was in the IC Los Angeles Program, where I had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to intern for The Ellen DeGeneres Show and NBC Universal Entertainment’s press and publicity department while taking classes. The opportunities I had, the people I met, and the things I learned and saw were incredible, and nothing that I will soon forget. It’s programs like these that really let IC students reach their full potential and strive for their dreams while still in college.

On campus I am involved in a variety of organizations and activities. To name a few, I am cochair of the School of Business Deans’ Hosts; an office intern for the Catholic community; a participant in Alternative Spring Break Hurricane Katrina Relief in New Orleans; a peer leader for the Cross Cultural Leadership Retreat; and a member of the Leadership Scholars program. It meant a lot to me when I chose Ithaca College four years ago that I had a campus environment that could satisfy all of my interests as well as provide me with new experiences. That’s one of the things I love most about Ithaca College: it’s the students, faculty/staff/administration, and alumni that give back to this community, whether through the programs, clubs, and organizations; or through speakers they bring to campus; or the scholarships they make available to students.

I was very fortunate to receive the Class of 2006 Scholarship. I was most honored because it was students like me who established a fund that would help other students continue their education here and pursue other academic interests. It’s all about students helping other students, something Ithaca is known for. This scholarship was so meaningful to me. Many of my friends graduated in the class of 2006, and receiving the scholarship their class had established motivated me to want to do the same to help other students. We’re investing in each other and helping each other along. To me, that’s why scholarships established by students or the faculty/staff/administration are so important. They come from the people and institution we love most.

I believe my fellow students echo my sentiments, and the class of 2008 class gift proves that. We have voted to establish a scholarship fund to assist students who have credit-bearing but unpaid summer internships. These experiences are so meaningful to our education, but the additional cost of paying for the credits while not getting paid for the internship can really inhibit students from pursuing these opportunities. We hope our scholarship will alleviate that worry for students and let them take advantage of the internship of their dreams.

The class of 2006 invested in me and my future here by establishing a scholarship for undergraduate students. We’re all investing in each other here because we want to help those in our Ithaca family. The Faculty/Staff Endowed Scholarship is so crucial; to know that the educators and administration we look up to and admire want to further our success invigorates us to strive for and achieve more. I am eternally grateful for the Class of 2006 Scholarship, and I hope this faculty/staff scholarship can assist other students like me.


To learn more about and contribute to the Faculty/Staff Endowed Scholarship, visit http:///