The Colgate Scene
July 2004

An extended family

Kyle Rudolph '06 is a recipient of the Bliss J. Youker '15 Scholarship, which honors the father of Robert B. Youker '55 (left) and James E. Youker '50. "I'm glad I got to put a face to the name," Rudolph said. [Photos by Timothy D. Sofranko]

As in previous years, the 22nd annual scholarship recognition dinner was an occasion for the Colgate community to connect across generations, and to express and share pride in the accomplishments of alumni and students. Most of all, it's an opportunity to say "thank you."

Nearly 200 people -- including 79 scholarship recipients -- gathered at the Hall of Presidents in April for this year's dinner.

"I'm glad that I got to put a face with a name. It's more personal than just writing letters and getting something in the mail," said Kyle Rudolph '06, a psychology major and recipient of the Bliss J. Youker '15 Scholarship. "You get to thank them in person, face to face, rather than just getting something that said they gave you money."

The Youker Scholarship -- one of Colgate's 491 endowed scholarships -- was established to honor Bliss J. Youker '15 by his family, including his sons James E. Youker '50 and Robert B. Youker '55. His father had a long and distinguished career as an educator in New York State, explained Robert Youker.

"He came from a very poor family, and Colgate opened his life up for him," Youker said. "His brother never went to college. The differences between the two were major."

In her remarks, President Rebecca Chopp said that increasing financial aid is central to the university's new strategic plan. While endowed funds now provide 27.5 percent of Col-gate's funding for financial aid, she said, the university needs to increase its financial aid endowment so that percentage can be even higher.

Kevin Rusch '85 endowed a scholarship because the scholarship he received to attend Colgate was "the greatest opportunity" of his life.
"[Financial aid] is an area that will always be a priority, and, as evidenced by the students in this room, will always be put to great use," said President Chopp. "We are hoping that each year we will have more people to thank, and more, thankful students who are on their way to success, leadership, and fulfillment because someone created a scholarship that allowed them to come to Colgate."

Kevin Rusch '85, who had been a scholarship recipient himself, said he decided to endow a scholarship because attending Colgate was the "greatest opportunity" of his life.

"I think it is very important for every alumnus or alumna to give back to Colgate, depending on their financial capabilities," said Rusch, who spoke on behalf of donors. "They can give back to Colgate in various ways. They can volunteer their time. They can speak to prospective students. When possible, they can be generous financially and make it possible for other students to get the kind of opportunity I had."

"Thank you for your support. Thank you for making Colgate such a versatile and challenging institution," said Mary King '04, who spoke on behalf of scholarship recipients. "Thank you for entrusting us with it for four amazing years, and thank you for being out there in the real world; for being living proof that, though we may leave this place and scatter to locations unknown, we do not leave Colgate behind, but rather, join her large and inviting extended family."

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