Eastern Oregon University Foundation scholarship recipients and donors get together over tea and scones each year to celebrate philanthropic giving. The annual Tea and Trumpets event connects scholarship donors directly with the students who benefit from their gifts. In 2019-20, 400 students were awarded Foundation scholarships, totaling over $650,000. Established in 1964, the EOU Foundation is a public, nonprofit foundation created to support the mission and vision of EOU. Meg Valentine, who gives to the Elizabeth Grant Sutton Scholarship, attended the event and encouraged recipients to pay it forward one day.  “Attendees use their own resources to give to students because they believe in education and want to support the next generation,” she said.

Jose Abrego, a senior at EOU, received his first Foundation scholarship this year. “I was surprised when I was awarded my scholarship because I didn’t think they would give one out to a senior,” Abrego said. “It really shows that there are people here wanting to support higher education at all levels in the process.” EOU student Eleanor Stuart has made the most of receiving the Sapphire and Chollet Scholarships. She applied the funds toward study abroad courses that have taken her to Spain, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. “I have grown as a person and have become way more confident,” Stuart said.

Isaeblla Evans, a sophomore, was diagnosed with cancer and lost any money that might have been saved for college. “[Donors are] taking their hard-earned money and putting it towards students like me,” Evans said. “[I want to] make an impact on a student in the same way donors have done for me and others in the room.” Freshman Krista Lauren, received the Jean and Denver Ginsey Scholarship to support her journey toward becoming a nurse. Her mother, a nurse, died when Lauren was 12-years-old. “Nursing is one of the best ways I know how to help others,” Lauren said. Lauren was emancipated when she was 16-years-old and did not have a family to rely on to get to college. “With this scholarship, it made it possible to even attend college,” she said.

To learn more about the EOU Foundation and how to get involved, visit eou.edu/foundation. Written by PR Intern Briana Rosenkranz.