Longtime Northeast supporter establishes new endowed scholarship

by amandab  6/24/2016 10:15:06 AM -- 

NORFOLK - A longtime supporter of Northeast Community College has established a new endowed scholarship for students of the College’s horticulture program. Renee Halsey, Norfolk, has created the R.E.N.E.E. H.A.L.S.E.Y. Scholarship, which stands for Rain Enhanced Nature Environmentally Enriching Horticulture through Attractive Landscaping Simply by Educating Youth.

The Northeast Community College Foundation’s endowed scholarship funds begin at $25,000. Donated funds are invested in the Northeast Community College Foundation, and only interest generated from the donation is used for scholarship dollars. The endowment itself is never spent, so Halsey’s scholarship will exist as long as the College exists.

Halsey’s scholarship was established in part through a matching gift from the McIntosh Legacy Society.  Established by J. Paul and Eleanor McIntosh, the funds provide a partial match when a new qualifying endowed scholarship is funded through the Northeast Community College Foundation.

Halsey says she was inspired to establish her scholarship by the Norfolk Big Give event, which encourages Norfolk area supporters to give to local organizations.  She says she chose to focus her scholarship on horticulture because she has always had a passion for flowers and plants, which she learned from her mother and grandmother. Her parents instilled in her the need to give back to the community.

This past year, Northeast Community College awarded scholarships to students in the amount of $261,000 with an average award of $710. Seventy-nine percent, or 2,159 of the 2,726 degree seeking students at Northeast received financial aid during the past academic year. Seventy percent of Northeast students are eligible for Pell Grants, which means that the federal government believes the family is able to contribute less than $5,100 per year to the student’s cost of education.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of donors like Renee,” said Dr. Tracy Kruse, executive director of the Northeast Community College Foundation. “She understands the importance of higher education in the lives of these students, and she knows that without additional funds, many of them would not be able to attend college.”

Despite that generosity, Kruse says there is still a great need for even more to be done. She said that in 2015, Northeast received 754 scholarship applications and less than half of these students received funding. “Nearly 80 percent of students qualified for financial aid, and over half of those have an expected family contribution of zero dollars and qualify for the full Pell grant funding available.”

 

 

                                             PHOTO CULTINE - Renee Halsey

 

Renee Halsey, Norfolk, center, has established a new endowed scholarship for students of Northeast Community College’s horticulture program. A longtime supporter of Northeast, Halsey says she was inspired to establish her scholarship by the Norfolk Big Give event, which encourages Norfolk area supporters to give to local organizations.  Also pictured are Brad Pflueger of Edward Jones and Christine Tudor, development officer at Northeast Community College. (Courtesy Northeast Community College)

 

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Posted In -- Gifts to College, Norfolk, Press Releases, Special Events

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