The scholarship luncheon, held each fall by the Donald G. Costello College of Business at George Mason University, brings together scholarship donors with the student recipients of those scholarships.
Along with faculty members and other leaders from across the business college, they share personal stories and challenges as well as plans for the future. On Tuesday, November 7, the latest group of donors and awardees gathered to build connections and share inspiration.
Following an introduction by Yena Kim, director of academic achievement and innovative learning at the Costello College of Business, and opening remarks from Dean Ajay Vinzé, several donors and recipients addressed the audience about the impact of scholarship in their lives. Mishell Orellana Arispe, a senior studying finance, Salman Funyas, a senior studying business administration and accounting, and Kyle Samuel, a sophomore studying finance were among the students at the luncheon who spoke about their experiences.
“As a proud recipient of two scholarships, I'm incredibly grateful for the gift of time and vote of confidence they've given me,” says Mishell Orellana Arispe, recipient of the Gerald Hanweck Sr. Legacy Scholarship and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Scholarship. “I take these awards as a challenge to get out of my comfort zone and push myself to do better each day.”
"I was hesitant towards adding a second concentration, but I had often heard people say where there is a will, there is a way,” says Salman Funyas, recipient of the Janis S. Reed Endowed Scholarship. “In my case the way came in the shape of another human who made it possible for me to chase my dream of becoming a CPA."
"Being an immigrant, the financial aid opportunities that are available to me are limited, thus you cannot fathom how much these scholarships would aid me in pursuing my dreams,” says Kyle Samuel, recipient of the Kahil Family Scholarship and Emanuel A. Baker Endowed Scholarship.
Attending the luncheon as a donor of the Women in Business Initiative Endowed Scholarship, Stephanie Zimmermann, BS Decision Science and Management Information Systems ’93, was once in the position of the students in the room. “As a scholarship recipient, I have always been grateful for the gift I received—it was more than just the money—it was the confidence, validation, and recognition received for the work I was doing at that time,” she says. “The opportunity to pay it forward, and to help build the legacy that supports our current and future Costello College of Business scholars is one of the main reasons why I support the mission.”
The James R. Beers Endowed Scholarship is contributed to and supported by James R. Beers and Baker Tilly US. “I very much enjoy meeting and listening to the students and knowing I have helped your deserving students achieve their educational objectives,” says Beers. “I also enjoy visiting with the Mason team who are so important in making this undertaking successful.” Shabinaaz Mahdi, BS Accounting ’12, is partner at Baker Tilly. “This is one of my favorite events to attend because I enjoy talking with the recipients and learning about their journeys and aspirations,” says Mahdi. “Our profession is dynamic, innovative, and growing, and Baker Tilly is committed to helping today's students become tomorrow's generation of business advisors and leaders.”
Jeff Johnson, BS Business Administration ’75, relished the opportunity to sit down with the students awarded with the Johnson Family Endowed Scholarship. “The most impactful thing for me was getting to spend time with some of the scholarship recipients,” he says.
The scholarship luncheon was a rewarding experience for everyone involved. The student recipients thanked and learned from the generous donors who have impacted their education, while growing their professional networks in the process. And the donors were able to get to know the remarkable students whom their scholarships are benefitting. The Donald G. Costello College of Business greatly appreciates the wonderful donors who enrich the lives of our future business leaders.