The presentation of scholarships worth more than $3.5 million at the University of New England brought scholarship donors and students together in a celebration of the University’s vital role in the community.
UNE’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Eve Woodberry, welcomed the scholarship donors and recipients â€“ and members of the UNE and wider communities â€“ to the University’s Scholarship Presentation Ceremony for 2008 last Thursday. She said the scholarships were “a wonderful recognition” of the University by a wide range of individuals and organisations, and thanked the donors for their “investment in human capital”. “We feel we can give high-quality graduates in return,” she said.
During the ceremony, scholarship donors met and congratulated recipients as they presented 130 undergraduate scholarships worth more than $1.5 million and 65 postgraduate scholarships worth more than $2 million. The donors included representatives of industry, business, government, community and professional organisations, as well as individuals.
Among the undergraduate scholarships presented were 13 UNE Country Scholarships valued at $5,000 a year for the duration of the student’s course. UNE’s Country Scholarship Scheme, established in 1998, has helped more than 200 outstanding school-leavers from regional and remote areas to live and study at UNE. They are supported by organisations and individuals, as well as by the University itself.
While these scholarships (and many others) are available to students throughout UNE’s wide range of disciplines, the UNE Country Equity Scholarships, supported by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, are awarded to students from country areas who are interested in teaching and nursing careers. Six Country Equity Scholarships were presented on Thursday. Other scholarships presented to students of particular disciplines included scholarships for students of Urban and Regional Planning supported by Armidale Dumaresq Council, Kempsey Shire Council and Moree Plains Shire Council, and the 10 inaugural Hyman Scholarships for Rural Medicine.
Inaugural scholarships this year also included the Bernard Coffey / UNE Country Scholarship (presented to Daniel Fawell), the North-North West Law Society / UNE Regional and Remote Scholarship (presented to Josephine Togafau-Fepuleai), and the Max Schroder UNE Scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (presented to Aaron Mumbler-Webb). (The photograph displayed here shows Aaron Mumbler-Webb and Mr Max Schroder at the Scholarship Presentation Ceremony.)
UNE’s Deputy Chancellor, Dr James Harris, presented five students with Frederick G. White Bursaries. These bursaries are for rural women enrolled in postgraduate study or in the fourth year of an undergraduate degree program. One of the five, Rebecca Moxon from Willow Tree, is following in the footsteps of her brother, mother and father, who have all studied at UNE. Rebecca, who is undertaking an Honours project in sociology, said the award of the scholarship was “an honour”, and that it gave her “financial stability”.
In offering a vote of thanks to the scholarship donors and the University, James Heath, a recipient of the Jim Pollard Prize sponsored by the Armidale Alumni Association, said “financial stability” was an important factor in allowing scholarship recipients to focus on their studies. Ms Woodberry noted that some students might not have been able to come to university if it had not been for a scholarship. “The generosity of donors makes this possible,” she said.