Leadership and Scholarships: Each Essential to the Other
Charlotta Chung ’08 is creating a St. Lawrence Fund scholarship because, as she puts it, “I want to invest in other students.”
Other Laurentians invested in her, she says, and she knows the impact it can make.
“I received significant grant aid to come to SLU and it was important to me that I pay it forward now that I am in a position to do so.”
She’s doing this through a recurring gift each month to the St. Lawrence Fund Scholars Program. Many donors say they like the flexibility of recurring gifts, which let them designate the amount of their monthly gifts—and the convenience of making their donations automatically. Donors can pause, stop, or resume giving at any time.
Chung says her philanthropy has also become a meaningful way to recognize her family and their contributions to her success.
“I want to honor my grandmother who passed away a couple of years ago,” she says. “She really loved St. Lawrence from the minute we went to Accepted Student Day. I wouldn’t have been able to attend without help from her and my grandfather. I wouldn’t be where I am today without St. Lawrence, so I want to give back.”
Chung adds that, to recipients, scholarships convey both educational opportunities and responsibilities. Getting this kind of aid, she says, can help students become leaders.
“I like the adage, ‘to whom much is given, much is required,’” she says. “The generous donations of Laurentians brought the University within reach for me. The professors and resources at St. Lawrence helped me get into law school and reach my current position. I feel like it’s my responsibility to enable another student to reach his or her potential as well.”
Kristin Bennet Gray ’95 and Jordan Gray ’95 are also creating a scholarship through the St. Lawrence Fund. Instead of accruing over a number of years, the funds from this scholarship will be used immediately to help students from the North Country.
“Kristin and I both had an unbelievable experience at St. Lawrence,” Jordan says, “both as students and alumni. It's where we made many of our fondest memories and closest friends. I was an athlete and, after graduation, a McCurdy-Sprague Trustee. So we’re passionate about giving in hopes that others have experiences similar to ours.”
Part of that experience, he adds, is understanding that the commitment to St. Lawrence doesn’t end after earning a diploma.
“For a long time now, Laurentians have built a big, cohesive alumni base,” he says. “That’s helped support the school and young alumni looking for mentors, internships, or jobs. By establishing the scholarship, we hope the recipients see both aspects of giving.”
Ultimately, he says, when alumni support the University—financially or by introducing young alumni to their professional networks—they’re creating opportunities.
“When more Laurentians do both,” he says, “future students will have more opportunities, to learn and to have the careers they want. And that strengthens the St. Lawrence culture that means so much to all of us.”