Celebrating Pacific’s Accomplishments
Valentine’s Day 2014 saw Pacific students, staff, faculty and donors gathering to celebrate the best and brightest of scholarship students, as well as the people who’ve made it possible for them to receive an education.
The 2014 Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon, held Friday, Feb. 14 in the DeRosa University Center Ballroom, invited students who have received notable endowments or scholarships to be recognized for their contributions to the university.
Among the several university administrators in attendance were University of the Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck, Provost Maria Pallavicini, Vice Presidents Patrick Day (Student Life), Bernie Atterbury (University Development and Alumni Relations) and Patrick Cavanaugh (Business and Finance), Associate Vice President for Communications Richard Rojo, and Deans Phillip Oppenheimer (Pharmacy and Health Sciences), Steven Howell (Engineering and Computer Science), Lynn Beck (Education) and Lewis Gale (Business).
“To the students here today, this is your chance to say thank you to the people whose generosity has allowed you to study at the University of the Pacific,” Eibeck told those in attendance.
These administrators, as well as several professors in attendance, were able to talk to the scholarship students and find out exactly how well they had been taking advantage of the donations by furthering themselves and the university.
The luncheon also provided those students with a chance to meet and thank the very donors, seated at their tables, who have funded their scholarships.
As the plates were being cleared, Jacob Veligan ’15 took his place on the bench. Veligan, recipient of the Doenda “Wendy” Hammond Smith Endowed Scholarship for Piano, filled the ballroom with the exquisite sounds only possible from the hands of a maestro.
Afterwards, three Pacific students shared their own experiences, which came as a result of their attendance at a college that provided them with a scholarship.
Up first was Alejandra Aguilar ‘14, recipient of the Paul M. Sensibaugh Engineering Endowed Scholarship. Aguilar recounted to the audience her experience on her co-op in Japan and the vital lessons she learned in the Land of the Rising Sun.
“During my time at the University of the Pacific, I have taken advantage of opportunities, which I know wouldn’t have been possible without this scholarship,” Aguilar revealed.
Diolinda Asuncion ’14, recipient of the S. H. Cowell Housing Endowment Fund, followed afterwards. A single mother, Asuncion started off slow, but soon grew to become the leader of the pack.
“As a single mother and nontraditional student, I have faced many obstacles and difficulties along my journey towards my degree. But, the help of scholarships from generous donors like you has made it possible to concentrate on my studies,” Asuncion stated.
Finally, Susan Te ’15, recipient of the Jean Rule Sanders Endowed Women’s Tennis Scholarship, took to the podium.
Not content with simply being an NCAA student-athlete, Te also worked to become the president of the Pacific Student Athlete Council and vice president of the business honor society Beta Alpha Psi.
“Since I was a walk-on, I realized I had to figure out how I would financially continue at Pacific. At the end of my freshman year, I received what is singlehandedly the best gift I could have ever asked for,” Te affirmed.
The luncheon will look to become an annual event in the years to come.