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September 16, 2015

SVSU campaign results in 200 new scholarships

The Saginaw Valley State University Foundation announced the successful completion of its “Talent. Opportunity. Promise” campaign, which raised $28 million, surpassing the campaign goal of $25 million.

George CopelandDonors supported several identified university priorities, including making an SVSU education affordable for deserving students. More than 200 new scholarships were created as a result of the campaign.

‌At a celebration event Wednesday, Sept. 16, George Copeland, a business management major from Southfield, expressed his appreciation.

“I received my first private scholarship – the David and Jacqueline Hall Opportunity Scholarship – at one of the most difficult times in my life,” Copeland recalled.  “My family was recovering from the loss of my grandmother.”

Copeland also was selected for the Vitito Global Leadership Institute, a new program for business students created through the generosity of Bob and Bobbi Vitito. Next year, Copeland and the other Vitito Fellows will travel to Lisbon, Portugal to study business practices there.

“I understand the magnitude of this opportunity and I’m extremely humbled and honored,” Copeland said. “There are not a lot of young men my age that have these experiences. I am experiencing these opportunities because of generous people who have chosen to support students like me at SVSU.”

Bethany Thrun, a nursing major from Garden City, also spoke at the event, drawing inspiration from a nursing pioneer.

Bethany Thrun, nursing student in simulation lab.“Florence Nightingale was quoted, ‘So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard seed germinates and roots itself,’” Thrun said. “ The generosity of SVSU’s donors provides students like me with the mustard seeds, which I have found are little moments of opportunity and inspiration that grow into greater things.”

Thrun has received multiple scholarships and fellowships and has actively supported her fellow students, serving in several leadership capacities, including president of the SVSU Student Nurses Association.

‌‌“My favorite achievement through this organization has been leading an orientation-related event that provided academic resources and networking opportunities to 113 undergraduate nursing students,” Thrun said.

The $28 million raised during the “Talent. Opportunity. Promise” campaign eclipses the $23 million generated during the “Promise for Tomorrow” campaign from 2005 to 2010. SVSU's “Campaign for Distinction” raised more than $13 million from 1997-99, and the “Creating the Future” campaign from 2000-02 exceeded $9.5 million.