Duncan and Nancy MacMillan (front row left) and the happy recipients of their scholarships. Many students expressed thanks to their scholarship donors at a series of appreciation events this spring.
Rutgers scholarship recipients warmly thanked their donors in person this spring during five luncheons marked by a spirit of generosity and appreciation. The luncheons honored endowed scholarships established over the years by Samuel Geltman, Duncan and Nancy MacMillan, James Cullen, the late Janice Levin, and the late Jay Chiat.
A number of donors and students remarked that the scholarship awards produced a family feeling among benefactors and recipients. That feeling was underlined by the presence of Nancy Geltman Resnick, representing her father, Samuel Geltman; Arielle Madover, the granddaughter of Janice Levin; and Edwina von Gal, the widow of Jay Chiat.
"Connection with recipients is very important to Dad (Samuel Geltman) and me," Resnick told the students. "You are not just a name to us. We care about you."
Keona Welch, a senior at the Mason Gross School of the Arts and a recipient of the Jay Chiat Scholarship, expressed a similar sentiment. "I feel like I have a great-uncle who has been standing by in the wings with support both financial and spiritual," she said. "I feel wealthy with love."
More than 100 individuals attended the five gatherings, including donors and past and present recipients. Since they were established, the endowment funds have provided well over $5 million in scholarships for more than 500 students.
Carol P. Herring, president of the Rutgers University Foundation, emphasized that all five donors created endowed funds. "An endowment is the most visionary way to give," she said. "The monies are carefully invested, and the yearly income from the investment generates scholarship assistance in perpetuity. In this way, the impact of an endowment lasts forever."
Students expressed profound gratitude for the financial support they received. "Law school—even Rutgers, exceptional value that it is—can get expensive," said Jordan Rand, a third-year student at the School of Law-Newark and a recipient of the Philip J. Levin Scholarship. "Luckily, there are generous people out there like the Levin family, who make it possible for people like me to attend tremendous institutions like Rutgers."
Jeffrey Moon, a senior at Rutgers College and a recipient of the Duncan and Nancy MacMillan Scholarship, said that for him, "the scholarship facilitates the freedom to take risks—not with money but with time and commitment. Financial support has imbued me with greater ambition."
The awardees expressed hope that they will be able to help others in a similar way some day. "I have a great job lined up for next year," said Rand, who graduates in May. "While I don't know what is going to come after that, I do hope that I will be able to do for even one student what the Levin family has done for so many."