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On November 14, 1970, a Southern Airways DC-9 crashed near the Huntington Tri-State Airport, claiming the lives of all 75 individuals on board, including 37 members of the Marshall University football team, eight coaching staff, 25 boosters, community members, and five Southern Airways employees. Seventy children lost at least one parent, and 18 were orphaned after losing both parents.  This incident stands as the worst sports-related air tragedy in history.

Marshall University and the Marshall 75 Family Alumni Chapter have established a 75 Legacy Scholarship Fund for the descendants of the crash victims who wish to pursue a higher education degree at Marshall University.

“This scholarship fund will allow descendants to attend Marshall at no cost to themselves,” said Leslie Deese Garvis, president of the Marshall 75 Family Alumni Chapter. “What better way to ensure the legacy of the 75 endures through their descendants than to provide a way for them to attend the University they loved.”

This fund is designed to support full-time or part-time undergraduate students who are direct descendants and who have fulfilled the obligations of the standard application process and are accepted to Marshall University. The award shall be renewed for up to four years (8 semesters) if the recipient maintains good academic standing.

Priority for this fund shall be given to the first-generation descendants (son or daughter) of the 75. If there are no first-generation recipients who qualify for this fund, recipient criteria shall be expanded to include any direct descendants of the 75 beyond the first generation.

The Office of Student Financial Assistance shall select the recipient and renew the award in cooperation with the Marshall 75 Family Alumni Chapter Legacy Scholarship Committee to confirm descendants.

“The chapter’s primary mission is to keep the memory of their 75 loved ones alive,” said Matt James, executive director of alumni relations. “One way to honor them is establishing a path to higher education through the descendants scholarship. I’m honored to be involved with such a special project.”

For further information about the Marshall 75 Family Alumni Legacy Scholarship Fund or to contribute to this cause, contact Chapter President Leslie Deese Garvis via email at, by phone at 713-819-4371 or visit the crowdfunding site at

Photo: Members of the 75 Family Alumni Chapter pose for a photo at the chapter kick-off event at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center in Huntington on Nov. 10, 2023.

The Marshall University Foundation has announced a gift of $1,715,949.13 toward the College of Education and Professional Development bequeathed by Hazel Shrader, a three-time graduate of Marshall University.

“Hazel would like to help any student who is trying but needs help,” said Barbara Holesapple, a friend of Shrader’s. “She would be pleased to know she is helping someone.”

Shrader earned a normal teaching degree in 1942 from then-Marshall College. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in education, in 1943 and 1952, respectively. According to Shrader’s friends and family, her time at Marshall was her proudest moment and she decided to leave a gift so others would have a chance to go to college.

“She really appreciated her time there,” said Doris Ann Taylor, cousin, friend and former student of Shrader’s. “She would be very happy that the money is to be used as she intended.”

On Oct. 5, Holesapple, Taylor and Connie Copeland, a friend of Shrader’s, traveled from Monroe County to Huntington to hand-deliver the check and to pose for a photo in Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall with Teresa Eagle, dean of the College of Education and Professional Development, Scott Anderson, chief financial officer for the Foundation, and Ainslie McKinney, program director of legacy giving and administrative services for the Foundation.

“We are a service profession,” Eagle said. “We teach our students to ‘pay it forward.’ Giving back is so important. We are excited to tell Hazel’s story and we hope it makes a difference to people.”

Shrader was born on Aug. 24, 1922, in Pickaway in Monroe County, West Virginia. At 16 years old, she graduated from Union High School in 1939 and was class valedictorian. Apart from her time at Marshall, Shrader lived in Monroe County her entire life and taught for 45 years.

Shrader’s first teaching job was Willow Bend, a one-room school, followed by Reynolds School and Mt. Prospect School on Knobs Mountain. She then taught at Glace School, Dewey School, Belleview School, Sinks Grove Elementary School, and lastly, Union Elementary School where she taught for 23 years before her retirement.

In addition to her responsibilities in the classroom throughout the school year, Shrader also taught Head Start for 12 weeks in the summer for 22 years. In all her years of teaching, Shrader never took sick leave and only missed four days of teaching after her mother died.

Shrader taught all different grade levels, but she spent most of her career teaching reading to first graders. She was named Monroe County’s Reading Teacher of the Year in 1987, the same year she retired, Taylor said.

It is with that in mind, Eagle said, the college will decide how best to use the gift, which will most likely include scholarships, particularly for students whose focus is teaching reading.

Following her retirement, Shrader traveled with friends on cruises to Alaska, Australia, New Zealand and Panama. She also went on Elder Hostel and Just Older Youth (JOY) trips, shopped and spent time with her best friend, Mayo Lemons, and crafted dolls.

Shrader took great pride in being a member of Delta Kappa Gamma for 50 years, as well as a member of the Monroe County and West Virginia Reading Councils and was a life member of the Monroe County Retired School Personnel.

Since 1933, she was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church where she served as the church treasurer and youth Sunday school teacher. She was an active member and officer of the United Methodist Women. She also had been a member of Pickaway Community Educational Outreach Service.

After her father’s untimely death in 1946, Shrader operated the family farm until she was 62 and continued to mow the lawn until she was 83. Shrader died on Aug. 15, 2022, nine days shy of her 100th birthday.

To learn more about planned giving, visit

The Marshall University Foundation, Inc. is excited to announce the establishment of the Jerry R. Keyser Scholarship for $300,000 designed to support and nurture aspiring biology majors at Marshall University.

Of the $300,000, $250,000 will be put into the Foundation’s endowment, with the remaining $50,000 going toward the expendable to be awarded $10,000 per year for the first five years. The renewable four-year scholarship aims to foster the growth of exceptional talents and empower the next generation of scientific leaders who will make groundbreaking contributions to the field of biology and environmental sciences.

“I have heard the inner calling of my faith to give this generous contribution to Marshall University,” Keyser said. “I have been blessed to have had a successful business career enabling me to contribute to the scholarship fund and give back to those residents of West Virginia who wish to work hard to further their education and make a difference.

“It is my intent and hope these scholarships be awarded to those who want to pursue a degree in biological science to develop careers in researching natural and metabolic treatments for cancer and other diseases. Also, environmental science to help preserve our environment.”

The scholarship is generously endowed by Jerry Keyser. Keyser was born and grew up in West Virginia and attended Marshall University where he received his bachelor’s degree in social studies in 1971. After a successful business career, Keyser traveled the country where he developed a love for art and the outdoors. Toward the end of his career, Keyser began to pursue his passion for painting, particularly of the Rocky Mountains and western landscapes.

“I had a great time while attending Marshall and made many long-lasting friends,” Keyser said. “After college, I moved away from West Virginia to other places to pursue my corporate business goals. I am now retired and reside in Montana and Colorado. I often attend Marshall’s Homecoming weekend to see old friends. It always brings back old memories of when I attended school, and how much I miss the people and beautiful places in the Mountain State. Marshall University and West Virginia have a special and deep place in my heart.”

The Jerry R. Keyser Scholarship was established to support undergraduate students in the College of Science. First preference goes to biology majors, and second preference goes to environmental science majors. The award is renewable as long as the recipient maintains a good academic standing.

To donate to this fund or to learn more about philanthropic support of Marshall University, please visit or follow us on social media @ForMarshallU.

Marshall University and the Marshall University Foundation are extremely pleased to announce a transformative gift of $2 million from alumnus and current Board of Governors member Jim Smith and his wife, Pam Kushmerick, to support the new Marshall For All program at the university.

This generous donation is a testament to their commitment to empowering students and fostering innovation at Marshall. The gift will be allocated to support Marshall For All, a revolutionary program designed to help students earn their degree from Marshall debt-free.

“President Smith has an inspiring vision for Marshall University,” Jim Smith said. “Marshall For All is an important part of his plan and it addresses one of the biggest issues in higher education today. Pam and I feel blessed to be in a position to support this effort. We are both first-generation college graduates, so we understand the challenges – but more importantly the rewards – of that journey.”

The Marshall For All program allows Marshall students to combine scholarships, grants, work opportunities and family contributions to earn their bachelor’s degree without needing student loans. To qualify, students will need to complete a FAFSA annually and commit to actions such as graduating on time, pursuing work opportunities and participating in financial literacy programs.

The program, announced by Marshall University President Brad D. Smith in 2022, launched in the fall with new first-year West Virginians and metro area students. The university will scale up the program over the next decade.

President Smith expressed profound gratitude for the gift which will help launch the program, saying, “This remarkable gift exemplifies the boundless possibilities that arise when individuals passionately advocate for education. This gift will open doors to opportunity, elevate potential and extend the reach of our university’s impact in making Marshall the right choice for everyone. We are immensely grateful to Jim and Pam for their extraordinary generosity and dedication to Marshall and its students.”

Jim Smith is the former president and CEO of information and media giant Thomson Reuters. He is a 1981 graduate of Marshall, which he attended on a football scholarship. Smith has been inducted into Marshall’s College of Business Hall of Fame and was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters by the university.

Smith spent more than three decades with the Thomson organization, starting in a newsroom and ending as president and CEO from 2012-20. Today he chairs the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a London-based charity focused on media freedom, the rule of law and access to justice.

He was appointed to the Marshall University Board of Governors by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in 2022.

To learn more about the Marshall For All program, visit To learn more about philanthropic support of Marshall University, please visit or follow us on social media @ForMarshallU.

Leela V. Raju, M.D., followed in the footsteps of her parents, Dr. Vadrevu K. and Rani Raju, when she, too, chose a career ophthalmology. Now, she is establishing a new scholarship at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in honor of her parents dedicated to supporting future ophthalmologists.

The Dr. V.K. and Rani Raju Scholarship provides a one-time financial award for a fourth-year medical student who matches in ophthalmology.

“After being introduced to ophthalmology and admiring my father’s dedication to the care of his patients, I knew ophthalmology was the career for me,” said Dr. Leela Raju. “I am very happy I can give back to the school that helped me realize my dream of being a doctor, honor my parents and support future ophthalmologists at Marshall University.”

Dr. V.K. Raju was born in Andhra Pradesh, India, and graduated from Andhra University before completing his residency and fellowship in the United Kingdom. He is an ophthalmologist at Regional Eye Associates in West Virginia and Maryland and serves as a clinical professor of ophthalmology at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, and an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Raju is president and founder of the Eye Foundation of America. Founded in 1977, the Foundation works in eye camps and masonry hospitals in more than 30 developing countries in an effort to eliminate avoidable blindness.

Rani Raju, also from Andhra Pradesh, India, has degrees in biology and English literature. She worked as an ophthalmic assistant for several years, and then as an office manager at the Monongalia Eye Clinic in Morgantown.

Dr. Leela Raju, earned her medical degree in 2003 from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and completed her ophthalmology residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center followed by a cornea and external disease fellowship at Baylor School of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Raju serves as a clinical associate professor of ophthalmology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and medical director of ophthalmology at NYU Langone Eye Center in Cobble Hill and Staten Island. She also serves as secretary and education coordinator of the Eye Foundation of America.

For more information or to make a gift to the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, please contact Linda Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs, by phone at 304-691-1711 or by e-mail at For news and information about the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, follow us on Twitter @MUSOMWV, like us on Facebook, or visit

The Marshall University Foundation is pleased to announce the Maier Foundation has pledged $1 million to establish the Sandra D. Thomas Scholarship Fund at Marshall University.

Sandra D. Thomas, a Raleigh County native and 1977 graduate of Marshall University, was a former member of the Marshall University Board of Governors and an 18-year board member of the Maier Foundation. After a courageous battle with cancer, she passed away in 2022. The scholarship fund will benefit need-based undergraduate students from West Virginia, with preference to students from Raleigh County.

Bradley Maier Rowe, chairman and president of the Maier Foundation, said Thomas was a champion for bettering the education of West Virginians, and expressed his heartfelt gratitude for all that she did for the state.

“Sandy had a steadfast commitment to improving higher education throughout the state of West Virginia,” Rowe said. “The Foundation is honoring her legacy by creating the Sandra D. Thomas Scholarship Fund at Marshall University. This endowment will make it possible for Raleigh County students to follow in her footsteps and pursue their education at her alma mater.”

In addition to her time with the Maier Foundation, Thomas was also appointed to Marshall’s Board of Governors in 2019 by Gov. Jim Justice. She served on the Athletics Committee, Investment Committee and was vice chair of the Finance, Audit and Facilities Planning Committee.

“Sandra was a valuable member of the Marshall family,” said Brad D. Smith, president of Marshall University. “We are pleased that she is being honored by providing the gift of an education to a Marshall student. We applaud our friends at the Maier Foundation for recognizing Sandra with this generous gift in her name.”

Patrick Farrell, chair of Marshall’s Board of Governors, added that Thomas was a hard worker and was committed to the betterment of Marshall University as a nationally recognized institution of higher learning.

“The legacy of a great leader is not just the impact they make in their lifetime, but the lasting impression they leave on the institutions they serve,” Farrell said. “The Sandra D. Thomas Fund is a testament to the remarkable contributions of a beloved member of our board. Sandy’s unwavering dedication to Marshall University and our students is an inspiration to us all. As we honor her memory through this fund, we are reminded of her commitment to putting students first and ensuring that their success is at the heart of our mission. The Sandra D. Thomas Fund will serve as a beacon of hope for generations to come, embodying the values and vision of a true champion of education.”

Thomas built a successful 40-year career as a CPA in Charleston, West Virginia, and was widely credited as the first woman to achieve partner status at a major accounting firm in the state. She was also dedicated to non-profit work both in Charleston and across the country, serving as national vice president for the Garden Club of America, chair of the CAMC Foundation, president of the Fund for the Arts, as well as serving on the boards of other area charities. Thomas was also an elder and trustee for The First Presbyterian Church in Charleston.

The Sandra D. Thomas Scholarship Fund is generously supported by the Maier Foundation, a private, non-profit, charitable corporation that is dedicated to the furtherance of higher education in West Virginia and the higher education of West Virginia residents attending colleges and universities elsewhere. The fund will provide each students’ cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, room and board, books and other educational expenses. The scholarship is renewable for four years pending the student maintaining good academic standing.

For more information about this fund, or to make a gift to Marshall University, please contact the Marshall Foundation at (304) 696-6264. For news and information about the Marshall Foundation and Alumni Association, follow us online at

Five Marshall University graduates who live in the region and work as State Farm agents recently came together to establish the State Farm Agent’s Alumni Scholarship.

The agents who made this scholarship possible are Rob Bowers of St. Albans, West Virginia; Brandon Huffman of Cross Lanes, West Virginia; Bill Mangus of Dunbar, West Virginia; Jeff Smith of Huntington; and George Swain of Williamson, West Virginia.

“We are all very proud of Marshall and individually contribute to the Marshall Foundation or the Big Green Foundation,” Smith said. “We do our part to give back to Marshall and the community.”

Recipients of this scholarship will be full-time undergraduate or graduate students in the Lewis College of Business and Brad D. Smith Schools of Business who are in good academic standing with a 3.0 GPA or higher and have financial need, per the standards of the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

“Given that all of us are self-employed entrepreneurs with business or marketing degrees, we felt it was important to focus our scholarship on the College of Business in an effort to support future entrepreneurs in the community,” Smith said.

For information regarding the State Farm Agent’s Alumni Scholarship, please contact Marshall University’s Office of Student Financial Assistance by phone at 304-696-3162.

The Thrasher Group recently established the Thrasher Group Scholarship to support Marshall University students in the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences.

Recipients will be West Virginia residents who are in good academic standing with a 3.0 GPA or higher and have financial need, per the standards of the Office of Student Financial Assistance. The award is non-renewable with only one recipient a year.

“So many of our employees are West Virginia educated, and we are really proud of that. This is just another way for us to help feed that talent pipeline here at home,” said Jenny Weaver, human resources director at the Thrasher Group.

Thrasher Group officials say they are proud of its collaborative efforts with Marshall. In 2019, the group established the Phillip G. Simmons Scholarship, which was generously funded by Simmons’ friends and coworkers at the Thrasher Group. This scholarship benefits students from Braxton County High School in Braxton County, West Virginia, with preference to students who are incoming freshmen and studying in Marshall’s College of Engineering and Computer Sciences.

“West Virginia is so special, and anyone who has ever spent time here understands what I mean by that,” “said Woody Thrasher, president and founder of the Thrasher Group. “I don’t just mean the natural beauty of our state, I mean the people. West Virginians are bright, they are innovative, and they are perseverant–some of the many reasons I feel so passionate about these scholarships with Marshall University,

The Marshall Foundation maximizes continuous financial support for Marshall University and its students by soliciting, receiving, investing and administering private gift support. The Marshall Foundation is committed to providing professional service to Marshall University, its students and donors.

The Thrasher Group is a full-service consulting firm that has served clients in West Virginia for nearly four decades. With offices in Bridgeport, Charleston, Beckley, Scott Depot, Martinsburg and beyond, Thrasher employs hundreds of professionals throughout West Virginia and the greater mid-Atlantic region. For more information, visit their website at

For information regarding the Thrasher Group Scholarship and the Phillip G. Simmons Scholarship, please contact Marshall University’s Office of Student Financial Assistance at 304-696-3162.

In 1947, the Marshall University Foundation Inc. was chartered to receive, invest, administer and disburse private resources on behalf of Marshall University.

Ten years later, a well-respected lawyer and alumnus of the then Marshall College, Arthur B. Koontz, made a $20,000 donation to establish a scholarship, the largest donation of its kind to the college. The scholarship is still impacting students today.

Koontz was born at Kessler’s Cross Lanes in Nicholas County, West Virginia, January 29, 1885, one of 11 children. He attended school in Summersville before arriving at Marshall College in 1903.

Koontz’s grandson, George Ragland, said he doesn’t know how his grandfather found himself at Marshall. Ragland’s great-grandfather, John Koontz, was a farmer and stock raiser, but it is clear he valued higher education as all of his children went on to become successful educators, lawyers, doctors and political leaders.

After graduating from Marshall in 1907, Arthur Koontz was accepted at Yale University where he received his law degree. He began to practice law at Charleston in 1911, and appeared “in connection with important litigation in practically all the state courts,” according to a biography written by James Morton Callahan in History of West Virginia: Old and New; Volume 2.

In 1918 he was instrumental in the forming of the Union Trust Company of Charleston, which he served as vice president. It was with the stock in this company that he formed his endowment with Marshall.

Nominated by the democratic party as candidate for governor in 1920, “he made a most creditable campaign and won a flattering vote in the general republican landslide of that year,” according to Callahan.

Ragland described his grandfather like Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.

“He was erudite, but in an understated way; a bit pensive; serious, but not stern; and respected in all circles,” Ragland said. “When he was not at home, he generally wore a navy suit, a white shirt, a tie and a hat. He deferred to his wife, Mazie, in all domestic matters.

“When he returned home at the end of his workday, he would go into a small room (today we might call it a den), sit down in a chair right beside the radio, take off his very thick glasses, close his eyes and listen intently to the news. Everyone knew not to bother him on those occasions.”

He was a gracious man.

“When he and his wife went out to a restaurant for supper, after the meal, when it was time to leave, he would make a point of going to the restaurant’s kitchen and thanking the cooks for a delicious meal,” Ragland said. “I can’t remember a time when he didn’t do that.

“After church on Sunday, my family would often go directly to the Koontz home, and find Arthur and Mazie sitting side-by-side in their rocking chairs on the porch. When I got out of the car and within ear shot, he smiled a big smile, reached out his arms for me, and said, ‘Hello, Big Topper [his nickname for me]. Come up here and sit on my lap.’ That loving gesture made me feel like a million bucks!”

Koontz also impacted the direction Ragland took in life.

“When I was a senior in college, Arthur (I called him ‘Granddaddy’) asked me what I was going to do after graduation,” he said. “When I told him I had no specific plans, he said, ‘A legal education never hurt anyone.’ That casual comment gave me some much-needed direction. So, I enrolled in the Washington & Lee School of Law, had a wonderful experience there, and eventually ended up becoming a partner in the largest law firm in North Carolina, where I worked until retirement. Had Arthur not given me that encouragement and support, who knows what I would have done with myself?”

Koontz continues to impact the lives of college students. His scholarship has been awarded nearly every year since it was established, including this year.

Koontz died of a heart attack in 1968. Ragland said his grandfather, due to the age difference, did not have much impact on his ideas toward philanthropy, and his parents, children of the Great Depression, placed more emphasis on saving.

“Personally, however, I believe in giving to those organizations that benefitted me,” he said. “I began making annual gifts to my law school soon after graduating.”

Ragland said he believes his grandfather and great-grandfather would tell current Marshall students to take the opportunity to broaden their minds, would say something like:

“There are many things you could be doing with your life right now. Of all those options, you have chosen to be a student at Marshall University. As such, you have the opportunity to learn about lots of different subjects, to increase your understanding of the past and the present, to interact with students from dissimilar backgrounds and, in general, to broaden your mind. Take advantage of this opportunity. Apply yourself. Do your best. You will never regret it. We wish you well.”

During his tenure as president of Marshall University, Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert made it a priority to increase scholarship aid for the student body in the face of rising education costs, and thanks to the Marshall Rises campaign, scholarship aid has increased 44 percent over the last five years with 500 more students receiving aid annually.

Part of the increase has been thanks to the hard work by the university’s Office of Student Financial Assistance, which launched a brand-new way for students to apply for private scholarships through an online portal. Launched in January of 2020, the portal reduces the amount of time it takes both students and staff to find and apply for applicable scholarships.

“We were trying to find scholarships for students by looking at each individual guidelines for each scholarship,” said Tara Hensley, senior financial aid counselor. “And then we didn’t really have something set up to where we could view a GPA or ACT score or the major they’re in or anything like that. We just had to search. It was countless hours.”

Financial aid staff said before the portal, there were upwards of 400 private scholarships that each required an application. Students could search most of the scholarships online at the financial aid site and college and department staff would work to pair students with appropriate scholarships, but awarding all available funding was still too big a task for the financial aid office.

“There were hundreds of applicants and applications that would come through,” said Cody Call, associate director of operations. “The paper was so much. We would open them all and there were some that were 20 per student. That would all get scanned in and filed away. It was a big pain. Then you’d have to review those, try to match up the scholarship and look at all the information manually. Now, the portal does all of that automatically for us. One word to describe the portal was just efficiency for our office.”

Students now fill out one application and are automatically matched with the scholarships out of 1,000-plus they qualify for.

“There are about 20 different departments, colleges and financial aid that utilize the scholarship portal now,” said Nathan Miller, applications programmer in enrollment services and builder of the portal.

The portal is a great resource for incoming students, who can see all the potential funding they can receive, and it’s great for retaining students by potentially providing them with funding all four years. It also helps the university catch students who may have fallen through the cracks before, like first generation students.

“Students and families need to know their financial outlook and the uncertainty of their futures has a negative impact on enrollment,” said Dr. Beverly Boggs, director of Financial Aid and Assistant Vice President of Enrollment. “I don’t know anyone who would be willing to make a large financial commitment without knowing if they can meet it. Having a balance due weighs heavily on the minds of our students; so much so that focusing on learning is secondary. Grades suffer, motivation suffers, and self-esteem suffers.”

Boggs said she has worked at several institutions that don’t have the donor support Marshall has, nor do they have portals as robust as Marshall’s.

“It makes a huge difference when trying to help students reach their educational goals,” she said. “It is so disheartening when a talented and promising student gives up on their education because there are no resources available to help them and financially they just can’t make ends meet. Sometimes it can be just a small amount of money that keeps them enrolled and engaged. Marshall is extremely fortunate to have loyal donors who know this.”

The portal ensures that robust support reaches the hands of the many deserving students.

“It’s an efficient way to spend the donors’ money,” said Jean Ann Bevans, associate director of customer service.

The portal has led to an increase in the number of students applying for scholarships, with over 1,100 students applying last year.

“That’s not even the supplemental applications, which was also a big increase from previous years where we may have been hurting to find students to award these things to,” Miller said. “Now we’re having to be more selective of who we award to because of the criteria, which is great. We’re using the donors’ money as they intended it to be used.”

Miller said the portal is helping colleges utilize their scholarship funding to the best of their ability.

“The portal has created ease of access for our future and current business students to apply for scholarships,” said Jeffrey Archambault, interim dean of the Lewis College of Business. “Keeping students the focus of all that we do is our first priority. We cannot reach the ambitious goals we have set as the Lewis College of Business, and our students from the Brad D. Smith Schools of Business cannot achieve the ambitious goals they set, without a robust and competitive scholarship portfolio. Scholarships are a great equalizer—they help business students realize their potential and help Marshall recruit and retain them.”

The Office of Financial Aid takes every opportunity to teach students about the portal, as does the Marshall University Foundation. From incoming student tours to orientation and beyond, financial aid counselors love to connect students with funding.

“That’s why I’m so passionate,” Miller said. “I did not have any idea until my last semester of college that I could come to the financial aid office and ask for a scholarship. I went through school with student loans. So, we have fixed that for other students so that they know that they can get scholarship money. They may not be awarded it, but they’re going to know about it. They’re going to know there are opportunities out there.”