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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 (’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.

environmental studies.

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

fortune changed.

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


study law.”

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 (’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 (’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, Westminster’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 college’s culture of

Annual scholarship

caring for future generations.

Scholarships can be created to support every kind of student, including those interested in a particular field of

Corporate giving

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

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.

Westminster College | 1840 South 1300 East | Salt Lake City, Utah 84105 801.484.7651 | Toll Free in US 800.748.4753

Your Passion Their Future  

Westminster College scholarship brochure

Your Passion Their Future  

Westminster College scholarship brochure