October 11, 2015
The etymology of the word inspire comes from Latin and means to breath into and has the same origin of the word spirit. And often when I am feeling inspired, it feels like someone is breathing spirit into me.  I attended the Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences Scholarship and Awards Banquet. The College gives out $2.5 million in scholarships annually to 752 undergraduate students. The number of scholarship recipient has grown so large that students are not invited unless the receive scholarship funded by donors that can attend. Even with these criteria they overflow the largest venue in the Penn Stater.

I was inspired first by the students who in addition to their studies were taking control of their scholarship by seeking and excelling at summer internships, solving important problems, creating new products and taking them to market, leading clubs, acting as ambassadors to their high schools, and so much more. Then I got to know some of the donors, although they come in all varieties, many if them are elderly women who endowed a scholarship fund in the name if their late husbands, or children who donated to honor a parent, usually a father, who studied or worked for PSU. They had amazing stories to tell of their connections to PSU.

They clearly understand what it means to be connected with one of the finest universities in the world. If I wasn’t before, I am now ready to live up to the responsibility that the privilege of my education and affiliation with this university dictates. I am now ready to breath the PSU spirit in and give it back out again. Just 6 weeks into my position, I am inspired to give more than just my service to the department. I am ready to become a donor if for no other reason than to ensure at least a few of the scholarships given out go to undergraduates from our department. To see all those scholarships and not one going to Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology left me breathless and inspired me to see if we can’t do something to change that.

Stay safe friends,


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