Pride in the Tiger Foundation
Today, the Pride in the Tiger Foundation will host the annual Senior Banquet for our graduating Marshall High School seniors. It will be at the Southwest Minnesota State University Conference Center.
This event has become a wonderful tradition at the high school as our graduates gather as a group, one final time, before walking across the stage.
The banquet is also a time when Pride in the Tiger Foundation scholarships will be awarded. This year, 98 scholarships totaling $70,335 will be awarded. Scholarships are so valuable to our graduates who are going on to a four-year, community college or technical college in the fall. State support for higher education has dwindled over the years. That has meant higher tuition rates, and places more of an emphasis on scholarships and the foundations that award them.
The Pride in the Tiger Foundation awards 5 percent of its endowed value, averaged over three years. All foundations like the Pride in the Tiger have been affected by the economy the past few years. Though things do look like they are improving, the Pride in the Tiger Board of Directors is committed to increasing those endowed dollars, so that the amount of scholarship dollars awarded continues to increase. At present, the Foundation is in the process of selecting a financial group to manage our endowment through a Request for Proposal process.
I have been asked numerous times how the scholarships are selected. A committee of high school personnel that includes administration, counselors' office and faculty representing each of the academic areas get together and award the scholarships, except for two. Those go through the anonymous Dollars for Scholars process.
The awarding process is a thorough one. I was able to watch the group as it did its work this year. A number of factors go into the awarding of the scholarships, including, but not limited to, grade-point-average, ACT scores, class rank and involvement in activities. I am on the scholarship committee, but am not a decision maker in the process. I was impressed by the work of the committee. It takes its responsibility seriously, and is quite thorough in matching students to scholarships.
The Pride in the Tiger does more than award scholarships. It also awards grants to help support projects in our Marshall schools, both public and parochial. That's a topic for my next column.
I am in my first year as the executive director of the Pride in the Tiger Foundation. I was an elementary principal in the Marshall School District for 27 years, and share a commitment to education with so many of you who believe strongly in education and the opportunities it affords our young people.
Please feel free to call me anytime at 763-486-3164 (cell); 507-929-2669 (office); or e-mail at: Bill.email@example.com.