Alumni club endows scholarship for D.C.-area students
By Page Ivey, firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-777-3085
The DC Gamecocks are serious about celebrating their alma mater. They watch football games and participate in special events related to their days at the University of South Carolina. But, more recently, the alumni club, one of the larger ones outside of South Carolina, took on the goal of endowing a scholarship for students from the D.C. area, including Maryland and Northern Virginia.
“What I tell people is that I am a product of a good scholarship that brought me to South Carolina,” says Jamie Sexton, ’13 corporate investment and finance. “I didn’t have this exact scholarship, but I had one where you get in-state tuition, which was a huge incentive for me.”
Going to the University of South Carolina opened up so many doors for me.
Jamie Sexton, '14 corporate investment and finance
It is something several alumni groups in larger cities are doing, says Wes Hickman, CEO of the UofSC Alumni Association.
“The Alumni Association, our members, clubs and affinity groups are proud to provide more than 300 scholarships each year to current students,” Hickman says. “Alumni leaders in several of our larger city clubs have embraced this strategic priority by endowing scholarships to aid students in their geographic areas.”
Sexton grew up in northern Virginia. After graduation and working for Vanguard in Charlotte, North Carolina, for more than five years, he was able to return to his home state to work as director of financial planning with Piedmont Wealth Advisory.
“Going to the University of South Carolina opened up so many doors for me,” Sexton says. “I was able to go to Vanguard, which is where I obtained my Certified Financial Planner certificate, which led to this new opportunity back home. I am very happy to be able to give someone else the same opportunity I had.”
The DC Gamecocks set a goal of $25,000 to endow a scholarship for a metro Washington, D.C., student of high academic standing in need of financial support. With help, in part, from Sexton, the group has surpassed that goal and set a new one of $50,000.
That level, Sexton says, will allow them to offer a scholarship to one student a year and have four students at the university at the same time who are able to attend at reduced tuition rates.
The group’s fundraising efforts included letting local alumni pay to reserve tables at the group’s favorite football watch watering hole. Sexton even offered an investment basics class for younger alumni, asking only for donations to the scholarship fund as payment.
“It’s wonderful to get large donations from older, wealthy alumni,” Sexton says. “But we weren’t really harnessing those younger individuals who wanted to help but needed to do it in smaller ways. I am a big believer in every little bit counts.”
To learn more about alumni clubs in your area, visit the My Carolina Alumni Association website.
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