Wayne State University

Annual Donors and Scholars Luncheon focuses on the gift of giving

Annual Donors and Scholars Luncheon focuses on the gift of giving

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences hosted its annual Donors and Scholars Luncheon in May. The event recognized donors for their generous contributions in support of scholarships and honored students for their academic, community and leadership activities. Because of the continued commitment and kindness of donors, the college presented more than $222,000 in financial assistance to 146 students.

“We are grateful to our donors for your continued generosity and support of the college,” said Dean Serrine Lau, Ph.D. “Thank you for the positive impact you have on our students, the college and the university. You help our students accomplish their goals and expand their opportunities.”

Beverly Schmoll (physical therapy, ’67), donor and former dean of the college, delivered remarks focused on the joy of giving during the program for students in the health sciences. 

One of the college’s biggest supporters, Schmoll contributed to the newly created Academic Leadership Endowed Scholarship and established the Physical Therapy Founders Endowment, which provides funding for students to attend conferences. Schmoll encouraged students to give back so they could also experience the happiness associated with helping others. 

“It is not the amount of the gift that one gives; it is just the giving,” she said. “It is really a privilege to be able to give and to support others. When I receive the notes and descriptions of how students use the gift, I am just so awed and impressed. You bring me joy. And when you take the time to send those personal notes, you have no idea of the difference they make, but they really reinforce that sense of the joy of giving.”

Professor Emerita Geralynn B. Smith discussed the importance of paying it forward in her comments during the ceremony for students in pharmacy programs. 

“Pay it forward— to respond to a person's kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else — can be applied to scholarship recipients and the scholarship donors. This phrase unquestionably describes my personal story. As the beneficiary of a scholarship as undergraduate college student, I have a firsthand understanding of value of scholarships in assisting me in attaining my degree in pharmacy,” said Smith. “As scholarship donors, my husband and I desire to support students in achieving their academic goals by helping them financially and we would hope that our recipients would view us as role models and follow our example, so they too will pay It forward in the future."

Nurse anesthesia student Oluwaseyi Lawal, recipient of the EACPHS Board of Visitors Annual Scholarship and EACPHS Diversity Advisory Board endowed scholarships, and second-year Doctor of Pharmacy student Nour Ghamrawi, recipient of the Arab American Pharmacists Association, Nazih Jawad Life Rx, and Kmart Pharmacy endowed scholarships, also expressed their gratitude to donors during their speeches.

Throughout the program and lunch, students’ messages of appreciation were displayed on digital signs throughout the college. Many thanked donors for allowing them to focus on academics instead of worrying about their rising student loan debt or working multiple jobs or longer hours to pay tuition.

Aline Tcholakian, recipient of an Arab American Pharmacists Association Scholarship, wrote, “This scholarship is going to help me continue my education at this amazing school, and it will help to provide me with more opportunities. Your generosity inspires me to continue giving back to the community, and I hope to also give back to future pharmacy students one day.”

“Receiving this scholarship is such a blessing,” wrote LuKesha Davis, recipient of the Barbara Henderson Miller Scholarship in Occupational Therapy. “It will allow me to continue my education and focus on doing well in my classes without the financial burden. It also allows me to continue working toward my goals and dreams of helping others.”

Aisha Alnubani, who was awarded a Clinical Laboratory Sciences Scholarship, wrote, “The CLS Scholarship … will always remind me that great individuals believe in me; it is a stepping stone that, despite obstacles, will allow me to achieve my dreams; it is a difference made in my life today that will allow me to make a difference in lives tomorrow.”

For more information about supporting scholarships or establishing a named scholarship at the college, please contact Denise Thomas, director of philanthropy and alumni affairs, at ew8458@wayne.edu or 313-577-1095.

View the photo albums from the Donors and Scholars events here.  

More than $222,000 was awarded to 146 students at the annual Donors and Scholars luncheon in May.