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Generosity of Friends

More than 325 scholarships and $750,000 in financial aid-both ECSU Foundation records-were awarded to students at Eastern's annual Scholarship Reception last October. The event brought together major scholarship donors and their respective student recipients-who come from all backgrounds and academic majors. "We are relentless in our pursuit of increasing educational access and improving success rates of students attending our campus," said Ken DeLisa, vice president of institutional advancement. "As recently as a decade ago the Foundation was only able to award $100,000 in scholarships."

The Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation partnered with local philanthropist David Foster and his wife Marilyn this past May to create a scholarship program in memory of the late Kevin Crosbie, long-time publisher of the Willimantic Chronicle. The $50,000 scholarship, funded by a joint contribution from the Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation and the Foster Family Foundation, will support Windham High School graduates attending Eastern. Priority will be given to students interested in music or communication; four students will receive four-year scholarships in the amount of $3,000 a year. Mrs. Crosbie has also started a fund that will support a future endowment.

Ossen FoundationThe Eastern Connecticut State University Foundation, Inc., held its annual Bowl-a-thon in support of Eastern last March at Willi Bowl in North Windham. Almost $10,000 were raised for Foundation scholarships by the 183 bowlers; 123 of them were Eastern students. In addition to Eastern faculty, staff and students, local businesses and alumni participated in the Bowl-a-thon to raise funds.

Starting in August 2014, the Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation committed up to $40,000 per year for the next three fiscal years to match gift dollars for four endowed scholarships that assist Eastern students who are planning careers in the sciences. Eastern alumni, parents and friends of the University will be able to restrict their endowed scholarship gifts in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for any of the following scholarships: The Dr. Robert N. Horrocks and Dr. Daniel B. Switchenko Founders of HPE Endowed Fund; The Dr. J. Donald McLaughlin Endowed Memorial Scholarship; The Sidney Vernon, MD, Endowed Scholarship; and The Student Research Scholarship, created by Marc Freeman '93.