I had the pleasure of attending the 39th Annual Scholarship Ceremony held this past Friday, May 15 in the Saddleback College Gymnasium. After welcoming all of the students, parents, staff, faculty, board of trustees, and foundation members to the ceremony, I sat in the audience astounded by the terrific students who received scholarships. Over $700,000 in scholarships was dispersed to 400 students.
The ceremony featured four speeches from past and present scholarship recipients. Mother-daughter duo Seanna and Jacqueline Smerdel opened, followed by Michelle Brough, Esq, Min Kim and Kamran Sadghiani.
Also recognized were the San Clemente Men’s Golf Club as the Organization of the Year, and Donald Greenspan, as the Individual Donor of the Year.
The scholarships would not have been possible without the support of our donors. Our scholarship donors include individuals, organizations and businesses, as well as many of our students, employers and the greater Saddleback College community. Thanks in large part to the Saddleback College Foundation Board of Governors, the foundation staff and the support of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees and Chancellor Gary Poertner, we have seen a remarkable growth in our scholarship program. Their generous contributions are making a tremendous difference for our students.
One major area of growth this year was our endowed scholarships. Many of our generous contributors invested in the long term success of our students, our college and our community by supporting an existing endowed scholarship or creating a new one. During the past academic year, seven new scholarships were endowed and six more are working to reach the $10,000 minimum needed to create one.
I want to again congratulate all of the students who have been awarded a scholarship for their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership, and talent, and thank all of our donors.
Tod A. Burnett, Ed. D.
President, Saddleback College