The Rocket

1889 Society offers scholarships, builds relationships, supports SRU community

Taylor Akers, Rocket Contributor

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Gratitude, generational learning, higher education, and priceless relationships: these are just a few qualities that are imperative to the 1889 Society.

Built upon the tradition of generosity and foresight that was established at Slippery Rock University’s founding, the 1889 Society connects alumni, friends of the university, and contributing individuals to currents students for the continuation of higher education across generations.

A collaboration between SRU departments and staff, specifically those within the Department of Financial Aid, the 1889 Society offers all students of all years and majors scholarship opportunities due by December 7 at 4 p.m.

Dr. Ed Bucha, Executive Director of the Slippery Rock University Foundation Inc., encourages students to take advantage of these opportunities.

“Everything is offered through the Office of Financial Aid and their website,” Bucha said. “There’s probably close 450 opportunities for different scholarships and they’re all over the place. First-year students, upper class…they’re broken down on the site into different categories so a student can get easily to those they qualify for.”

These scholarship opportunities are only possible through the generosity of individuals, their specific purpose and creative way of contributing. Although these forms of contribution usually aren’t immediate, they are still immensely important and appreciated by the university and benefit students.

Contributable opportunities like Planned Giving, including estate plans, charitable gift annuities, and charitable remainders, allow individuals to assist future students even after they passed while also building a mutual and benefitting relationship with the university.

According to an informative script on the program, “Life-income gifts such as gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts can provide donors with an income stream, significant tax savings, and the satisfaction of providing Slippery Rock University with vital, long-term resources.”

“A lot of the scholarships available now are from those individuals who had estate plans and we’ve been making a real effort to recognize those people more and more,” Bucha added. “We all love being around and saying ‘thank you’ to these individuals and strengthening the relationship they have with the university.”

Events such as the annual spring scholarship luncheon also help connect currents students to their benefactors. Individuals involved in university leadership, such as the academic dean, president, and presidential cabinet are invited to share a better understanding of the program and its importance.

“It’s just a variety of things,” Bucha said. “Students may learn more about the university that they may not have known before and for those contributing individuals to be so generous, you can never recognize them too much so it’s a more individual way to show appreciation for their generosity.”

Clearly, the 1889 Society holds benefits and relationships for both the contributing individual and the student. With 150-175 individuals already making financial opportunities available to Slippery Rock University students, the society only has more room to grow.

“Relationships are something we’re really big about in what we do,” Bucha concluded.

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1889 Society offers scholarships, builds relationships, supports SRU community