The Campaign for Scholarships at Westminster
The Campaign for Scholarships at Westminster
believe in the liberal arts. I believe
Several years ago, my husband, Mike,
in their innate ability to introduce
and I decided to establish a scholarship
us to a myriad of concepts, to help
for Westminster students to honor
us weave together ideas, to make us
the man who exemplified all that is
question our beliefs, and to imagine our
best about the liberal arts experience:
place in the universe. And despite all
Coach Tom Steinke. Coach Steinke was
the economic challenges facing colleges
a tremendous influence in our lives.
and universities today, I believe that the
He pushed us hard, expected a lot, but
liberal arts are worth fighting for.
gave a lot of himself in return.
“I believe in the liberal arts.” As an alumna, adjunct professor,
Through our scholarship, we hope to
and current Westminster trustee,
give students what was instilled in
I’ve witnessed what can be
us during our time at Westminster:
accomplished with passion, good
confidence and competence. I hope
ideas, and talented people. I see the
you read the following stories about
difference an education makes—the
those who have been impacted by or
metamorphosis that takes place in
compelled to give scholarships and
four short years. I shudder to think
think about ways in which you can
what would happen to our society if
make a difference. By investing in
our youth did not have access to this
scholarships, you can turn your passion
transformative kind of education.
into a bright future for a student.
Martha Felt Barton (â€™80), Westminster Trustee Founder of the Thomas E. Steinke Student Athlete Scholarship
aren was very bright. She had a nice sense of humor, and she loved the outdoors,” said
Dharmendra “Baba” Verma, remembering what he admired most about his wife. The couple came from worlds apart, but found love in the place they’d always
“I did it for my wife.”
carry in their hearts: Salt Lake City. Karen Sinclair Verma was born and raised in Utah. Attending college was a priority, but she didn’t want to choose
Life for the Vermas changed in 2002
is given to students interested in
between a small, intimate college or
when Karen was diagnosed with cancer.
a large university…so she did both!
Baba left his teaching position to support
After two years studying English at
his wife as she fought for her life. Sadly,
Westminster, Karen transferred to the
she passed away in 2006, but Baba was
University of Utah where she met a soft-
determined to keep her legacy alive.
spoken MBA student from India.
Baba recalls a particular trip to visit
“We belonged to the same international
Karen’s family during which she took
organization at the University,” Baba said.
him to Westminster. They walked
“We hit it off immediately, and decided
around campus, and Karen shared
this was for real. We married in 1961.”
stories of her time as a student. She
Baba secured a teaching job in San Diego where Karen finished her degree in sociology. He obtained his PhD in marketing and taught at Bentley College in Massachusetts. Karen taught children with special needs, worked
loved the beauty, the personal attention from professors, and the academic foundation that prepared her for later studies. She told Baba that day that she wanted to make a Westminster experience possible for others.
as a freelance writer, and volunteered
So in 2007, Baba fulfilled Karen’s
with humanitarian and environmental
wish by creating the Karen Sinclair
Verma Memorial Scholarship, which
“Karen would be thrilled to know I created a scholarship to help students,” Baba said. “She loved the environment, and now this scholarship is providing opportunities for people to do the things she loved.”
Dharmendra Verma Founder of the Karen Sinclair Verma Memorial Scholarship
annah Losser’s path to Westminster started with an injury. After high school, the
promising dancer enrolled at a California university with the hope of learning the business side of dance. She quickly learned, however, that the dog-eat-dog world she entered was not her style at all. Not quite ready to leave her life of dance behind, Hannah attended
“I want to help others.”
the modern dance program at the University of Utah. An ankle injury, and subsequent surgery, ended her career. But Hannah describes this challenging time as a “blessing in disguise.” During her physical therapy, Hannah
is the recipient of the Laura S. and Chester
been so rewarding,” she said. “Seeing shy
W. Nortz Endowed Scholarship for her
kids open up through dance and build
commitment to community service.
friendships has been amazing to watch. I’m so lucky to still be able to share my
developed a fascination with the body’s
“I was honored to earn this scholarship.
ability to heal itself. “I decided to transfer
It has helped me take ownership of my
to Westminster to study science.”
education.” And with less pressure to
Many of the opportunities she’s enjoyed
Now a senior in biology, Hannah hasn’t
finance her own education, Hannah is able
have been made possible by others.
looked back. “I have absolutely loved
to spend more time focusing on her true
“I had the privilege of meeting my
it at Westminster. In my classes, my
passion: volunteering. She has donated
professors connect their lessons to the
countless hours to serving organizations
outside world and their experiences.
at home and abroad, including Youthlinc
They’re human. I feel like I’m going to go
and the International Rescue Committee.
somewhere in the real world.”
passion for dance.”
scholarship donor,” she said. “She’s been active on community boards, she’s an educator, and a role model. She’s inspired me to follow in her footsteps. Having a scholarship will make it easier for me to
She also wakes up before dawn twice
Hannah asserts that her experience at
a week to coach a middle school dance
Westminster would not be a reality if she
team, an experience that has changed
hadn’t received scholarship support. She
her life. “I don’t get paid for it, but it’s
accomplish that, and I am thankful.”
Hannah Losser, Senior Recipient of the Laura S. and Chester W. Nortz Endowed Scholarship
oving to Utah could cause culture shock for anyone, especially a 14-year-old
student from Los Angeles. “When my family moved to Utah, I had major culture shock,” said Westminster junior Maricarmen Rendon. “It was
“I want to achieve my dreams.”
different here, but now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.” Maricarmen was a top student at Hunter High School. She took all the advanced
When she was awarded the Marriner
placement classes, and, by senior year,
S. Eccles Foundation Scholarship, her
she had accrued enough credits to enter
college as a sophomore.
“Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t
know what you’re talking about. This will
“I wanted to jump into college,” she said.
be here,” she said. “My family is still
serve me well as I move forward with my
“I felt prepared and knew I wanted to
going through economic hardships. I’ve
always tried to do my very best in school.
The only barrier standing between Maricarmen and her academic dreams was the cost. In 2009, Maricarmen’s
Receiving this scholarship means my hard work paid off, and it’s nice to know that someone is paying attention.”
father underwent open heart surgery
Maricarmen enjoys the small classroom
and was forced to quit working. Racked
dynamic for which Westminster is known.
with medical bills, her family moved in with Maricarmen’s sister and did not have anything extra to contribute to Maricarmen’s tuition.
“I love that my professors from my first year still remember my name,” she said. “They expect everyone to participate in discussions. In the outside world,
A loan from a family friend allowed
sometimes you talk with people whose
Maricarmen to enroll at Westminster,
arguments aren’t very logical. In my
but that was a temporary solution.
classes, you have to be prepared and
Maricarmen believes that everyone has the power to change the life of a student. “There are students who need and deserve aid,” she said. “Every little bit you can give really helps.”
Maricarmen Rendon, Junior Recipient of the Marriner S. Eccles Foundation Scholarship
ime goes by whether you do anything or not,” are the words Deanna Forbush lives by.
Deanna, a partner with respected Philadelphia-based law firm Fox Rothschild, traveled a hard road to get where she is today. A descendent of one
“I want to help the woman I once was.”
of Salt Lake City’s founding families, Deanna grew up with a pioneering spirit, but lacked direction and was not encouraged to excel in school. Deanna dropped out of high school, got married, and within a year, had a child. The marriage ended quickly, and Deanna
excelled in paralegal school,” she said. “It
years later, she earned her law degree
was the first scholastic experience I ever
from the University of Utah.
had. I thought that would be the end of it; I really achieved something.”
faced a tough reality: she was a single
Deanna is adamant she could not have succeeded without scholarship support.
mom with no high school diploma, and
By this time, Joe Huggins had his own
“Having the desire to do something is one
she needed a job.
practice with Deanna working as his
thing, but if you can’t afford it, you won’t
paralegal. “He said to me, ‘Deanna, it’s
be able to achieve your goals,” she said.
She found work as a file clerk and loan officer at a Salt Lake City credit union. But she wanted more for herself and
a sin that you do all the work, but can’t go to court. Do you think you’ll ever go to law school?’”
As an expression of thanks, Deanna established the Deanna Forbush Endowed Scholarship in 2007 to support
especially her daughter, Brenda. She moved on to be collections manager for a
The thought of Huggins’ idea seemed
single mothers, especially those who
local music company, learning on the job
impossible. Deanna needed a bachelor’s
want to pursue graduate school.
the small claims court system, and she
degree to attend law school, but she
developed a passion for law.
didn’t have a high school diploma! She contacted a counselor at Westminster
Deanna then met a young lawyer, Joe
who arranged for her to take the GED.
Huggins, who encouraged her to pursue
“You can find a way when you have to,” says Deanna, speaking from experience. “I want to reward the women who find their own way. Achievement should be
a paralegal certificate. She jumped into
Deanna scored very well and was
the paralegal program at Westminster
admitted into the college’s English
and earned her certificate in 1982. “I
program. She graduated in 1987, and four
Deanna Forbush (â€™87) Founder of the Deanna Forbush Endowed Scholarship
wning a car in college was serendipitous for Mike Hogben. After serving
in the Army in Korea, Mike started Westminster in the fall of 1960 and settled into life on campus—making new friends, including Peg Hall.
“We want to make a difference.”
Most students were residents on campus and hung out at Sugar House hotspots like Bunny’s, Zooms, and the Sugar Bowl. By senior year, both Peg and Mike’s significant others had graduated, leaving them to finish their final year alone.
Wherever life took the Hogbens, their hearts remained at Westminster. “The college years were formative, and we
Peg didn’t have a car and would often
made many friendships,” said Peg. “Our
ask Mike to drive her places around
experience at Westminster was so
Sugar House. By Thanksgiving, Peg
positive. Westminster was our life.”
remembers thinking, “Uh oh. I think I’m falling for this guy.” By Christmas, Mike and Peg were engaged. By spring break they were married.
Peg and Mike have been faithful supporters of Westminster since graduating in 1964. However, nearly 50 years later, they decided the best way
Life after Westminster took the
they could honor their experience was
Hogbens all over the country. Mike
to establish a scholarship. “Giving back
earned a doctorate in education
to Westminster gives me a warm fuzzy
psychology at the University of
feeling,” Peg said. “Instead of blowing it
Utah, and later a master’s degree
on a bucket list, we realize it’s our turn
in geography from the University
to start giving back. It gives us a lot of
of Kansas. Peg worked in several
pleasure to know we’ll make a difference
administrative roles, and she and Mike
in the lives of so many Westminster
welcomed a son, David, in 1970.
Mike and Peg Hogben (â€™64) Members of the Converse Society
or Pete Meldrum, hiring a
Coincidentally, on the same day Pete
dynamic workforce isn’t just good
signed the scholarship agreement with
business, it’s essential. Pete, who
Westminster, Myriad hired four young
is president and CEO of Myriad Genetics,
scientists, three of whom graduated
a Salt Lake City-based biotechnology firm,
from Westminster. “Perhaps it’s fate,
searches for scientists who are creative
but it really comes down to the fact
thinkers and team-focused problem
that Westminster graduates are really
solvers. And he often finds that the
good. We tend to favor them.”
most promising scientists come from Westminster College. “Westminster graduates are better prepared than many graduates from other universities across the nation,” Pete said. “They have a broad background, are critical thinkers, and aren’t naïve to what’s happening in the rest of the world.”
“I want to invest in the future.”
Pete attributes these characteristics to the interdisciplinary, liberal arts curriculum at the core of the Westminster experience. In fact, it’s the
Pete admits that investing in education
caliber of students graduating from
is self-serving from a business
Westminster that prompted Myriad
standpoint. “All corporations have the
Genetics to create seven scholarships
obligation to give back and be good
for Westminster science students.
corporate citizens,” he said. “If you want
“We want to see more students graduate in science, not just for the benefit of Myriad or Utah, but for our nation,” Pete said.
the best, take an active role and invest in the students living in your community.”
Peter Meldrum, Westminster Trustee and CEO of Myriad Genetics Founder of the Myriad Genetics Science Scholarships
rowing up in American Samoa, Tofi Ta’afua knew that to achieve her academic
goals, she’d need to leave her cozy island
“I want to lead.”
home. She’d also need a scholarship. Tofi’s parents, although supportive, worried their daughter could get lost in a place like the United States. “I had never been off the island, so you can understand how my parents worried about my safety. They heard that Utah had a reputation for being safe, and
president?” Tofi asked. “I learned about
The kind of leadership Tofi learned at
luckily, I found Westminster.”
leadership from Dr. Stock. She taught
Westminster and uses in her career
me the importance of presentation,
would not have been possible had she
eloquence, and believing in what you’re
not received scholarship support.
Tofi fondly remembers her first moments on campus. “Thankfully, campus was a total contrast to the Salt Lake Airport!”
“Without my scholarship, I would not
she joked. “I was impressed because
Perhaps the main lesson Tofi took from
have been able to attend Westminster,”
President Peggy Stock personally
her Westminster experience was the
she said. “In fact, most of my peers
welcomed me and gave me a tour.
value in building consensus, which is an
Everyone on campus was friendly; I
important part of her everyday role as a
immediately felt at home.”
vice president at Goldman Sachs Bank.
wouldn’t have been able to. Bricks and mortar are important, but if students can’t afford to come then the heart of the campus is gone.”
Life at Westminster proved transformative for Tofi. She developed warm relationships with many on campus, and was mentored closely by President Stock, who saw in Tofi a natural born leader.
“Throughout my experience in student government and other activities on campus, I learned how important it is to get buy-in, openly communicate, and build rapport,” she said. “I used to think that I could just take over something and
“On what other campus can you receive
fix it, but as President Stock used to say,
such close attention, even from the
‘It’s lonely at the top, Tofi.’”
Tofi Ta’afua (’01, MBA ’03) Recipient of the Jack and Nancy Behnken Endowed Scholarship
ichael Denson was the
the University of Utah or Westminster.
“I owe it to my wife, who has put me
“stereotypical jock” in
He quips that the university offered
through school, to do well,” he said. “I owe
high school, applying
him the quintessential undergraduate
it to my scholarship. I owe it to my kids.”
himself more in the weight room
experience, but in his words, “That
than in the classroom. The All-State
didn’t appeal to me. I’ve got a family.
Having a scholarship will change the
right guard didn’t want to let go of
I’m not looking for the wild life!”
future for Mike and his family. “An
his football career after graduation, so he stayed on at his school and helped coach the Bountiful High Braves to victory in the Utah 2002 4A State
“I got a second chance.”
But after a transformative experience in Australia during his LDS mission, Mike realized that the world was much bigger than football. In 2005, he married and moved to Salt Lake City where he enrolled at LDS Business College. Poor grades landed him on academic probation. When he learned he was going to be a father, he got serious about his education. “I grew up when I learned I was going to have to provide for a baby,” he said. “Before, I wasn’t hungry enough for success. I’ve changed because of my family.”
Mike was accepted at Westminster
investment in my education is an
and, for the first time in his life, he’s
investment in the community. My chance
excelling academically. “I got my first
to be successful is so much greater.”
4.0 ever during my first semester at Westminster,” he said.
he considered transferring to either
to invest their money, Mike says,
The college awarded Mike the R.
“Education is the best resource you can
Harold Burton Foundation Scholarship,
give. Education distinguishes us.”
one of the most prestigious scholarships offered at Westminster. Mike accepted this scholarship with a humility he lacked earlier in his
After earning his associate’s degree,
And to those considering where
Michael Denson, Senior Recipient of the R. Harold Burton Scholarship in Business
Ways to create your scholarship at Westminster
Giving through your will The Converse Society, Westminsterâ€™s planned giving society, honors those who have committed a gift to the college through their will or trust. You can create a scholarship through your estate, making Westminster a stronger institution and preserving the collegeâ€™s culture of
caring for future generations.
Scholarships can be created to support every kind of student, including those interested in a particular field of
study, future profession, community service, or athletics.
Creating a scholarship for Westminster students makes
You can name an annual scholarship for as little as $1,000
good business sense. Investing in scholarships strengthens
per year, payable over four years.
your relationship with emerging talent, providing you with top interns and future employees.
Endowed scholarship Whether you want to honor a loved one or a favorite
To speak with someone about how you can make a
professor, we will work with you to create a scholarship
difference in the life of a Westminster student by creating
that will help deserving Westminster students in
a scholarship, please contact the Office of Advancement
perpetuity. Your gift of $25,000, payable over five years,
at 801.832.2730 or toll-free at 866.832.2730. You can also
will forever provide scholarships for Westminster students.
give online at www.westminstercollege.edu/giving.
The Campaign for Scholarships at Westminster
We will be nationally recognized as an exemplary community of learners, distinguished by our distinctive educational programs, our record of preparing graduates for success in a rapidly changing world, and our commitment to continuous improvement, effectiveness, and value.
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