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Darla Moore School of Business

Easing the burden

Inaugural scholarship award helps freshman focus on her success

Susan Jacobs Bichel (‘73 management, ‘75 MBA) initially created the scholarship in her name for a Moore School student who had been in the foster care system. Having participated in a mentoring program for foster children, she knew the struggles these children face in affording a college education.

A resident of Greenville, South Carolina, Bichel agreed the scholarship could also be awarded to a student with financial need.

Image of Mara Voloder beside the Moore School building
Mara Voloder

Raised by a single mom, Mara Voloder (‘26 expected graduation marketing) was all too aware of the expense of her freshman year in college. She said she was overjoyed when she learned she was the first recipient of the Susan Jacobs Bichel Scholarship.

Voloder said she and her mom jumped up and down in their living room hugging each other when she received the email that she had been awarded the scholarship.

“My family means the world to me, especially my mother,” she said. “At that moment, celebrating [the scholarship] with my mom, I knew the future was already looking brighter.”

Voloder, who attended high school in Charlotte, North Carolina, and grew up in Long Island, New York, said she is “eternally grateful” to Bichel for supporting her in her first year at USC.

“This scholarship opened the door for me at USC and at the Moore School,” she said. “I’ve made awesome friends, met amazing professors and have joined multiple clubs on campus. At the Moore School, I love being surrounded by people who constantly look to succeed and want to become the best version of themselves.”

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