Students benefit community with help of scholarships

A group of local volunteers has embraced the mission of supporting students like Linfield junior Aimee Palacio in their pursuit of an education, figuring it not only benefits the students, but also the surrounding community.

Palacio is one of many Linfield students from Yamhill County receiving scholarship help through the Partners in Progress (PIP) campaign.

Led by a core committee of college alumni and supporters, the campaign has painstakingly nurtured the relationships between Linfield and the larger community.

The PIP campaign also raises funds to help finance service projects, local internships, library services and cultural, arts and athletic programs.

About 40 PIP volunteers come together each year to tap about 200 businesses and individuals, and students like Palacio reap the rewards.

An education major, Palacio plans to pursue a master’s degree after graduating from Linfield. She plans to become an elementary school teacher when she has completed her schooling.

Christina Diss, the college’s director of annual giving, said the breadth of the effort is impressive.

“I am so inspired, because so many people are involved in PIP that aren’t alumni or parents,” she said. “They are community members who want to support the institution.”

The donors feel they are giving back to the community through the contributions made by students after they graduate. Offering support allows local students to become educated leaders and thus future community contributors themselves.

To date, PIP has raised approximately $250,000 for the 2012-13 academic year. It has until June 30 to collect the last of its donations.

As a way to recognize the campaign’s success thus far, organizers held a celebration Oct. 10 for about 50 supporters in Linfield’s Vivian Bull Music Center.

Guests heard from Faun Tiedge, chair of the Linfield music program, and President Tom Hellie.

Hellie spoke about the outstanding, talented alumni that have grown since leaving Linfield. He also stressed the importance of showcasing student talent.

During the reception, sophomore Ian Cox kept guests entertained on the lobby piano. Senior Reveca Primachenko performed a few pieces on the piano as well, and junior Lauren Pak teamed with sophomore Tabby Gholi on a string duet.

“Linfield brings so much to the community through the arts,” Diss said, and the school felt it was important to provide a taste of that at the recognition event.

The PIP campaign, now in its 39th year, raised about $650,000 last year. It aims to raise about the same amount this year.

Jessica Prokop

Editor-in-chief

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