WEBVTT 00:00:11.000 --> 00:00:19.000 I thank you for joining us here tonight to celebrate the impact your scholarships have on our students and our university. 00:00:19.000 --> 00:00:26.000 Scholarships are the critical component to our collective success. 00:00:26.000 --> 00:00:34.000 This year alone the foundation and the university combined awarded a record level of 00:00:48.000 --> 00:00:52.000 What does a scholarship really mean? It provides hope. 00:00:52.000 --> 00:00:56.000 It provides hope to our students they can come here. They can stay here. 00:00:56.000 --> 00:00:60.000 They can graduate from here and have the opportunity to create businesses, 00:01:00.000 --> 00:01:04.000 become outstanding teachers without debt that keeps them from pursuing their dreams, 00:01:04.000 --> 00:01:09.000 become the musician that they truly can be because they have time to rehearse 00:01:09.000 --> 00:01:11.000 and to meet with their colleagues and their peers. 00:01:11.000 --> 00:01:15.000 I would never have been able to come to Oregon or Western and do my 4-year degree 00:01:15.000 --> 00:01:21.000 and be graduating soon with my degree in teaching. So the scholarships actually are the only reason I 00:01:21.000 --> 00:01:25.000 was able to come to my dream school and get the dream job that I wanted. 00:01:25.000 --> 00:01:28.000 With the cost of education going up as it much as it has recently, 00:01:28.000 --> 00:01:34.000 the average student now is graduating with $27,000 in debt, 00:01:34.000 --> 00:01:40.000 which is a real hindrance on their ability to start a family and to be involved in their communities. 00:01:40.000 --> 00:01:43.000 That's a huge impediment, obviously, to getting more people educated 00:01:43.000 --> 00:01:47.000 and make this country more competitive in this global marketplace that we live in. 00:01:47.000 --> 00:01:55.000 We work our students pretty hard. They have assignments, they practice their instruments, they have rehearsals. 00:01:55.000 --> 00:01:58.000 There's an enormous time commitment to succeed. 00:01:58.000 --> 00:01:66.000 When we see students having to work 20 hours a week to get through school, we know that they're not getting 00:02:06.000 --> 00:02:12.000 he full measure of the experience that they could have, could they really 00:02:12.000 --> 00:02:16.000 put all that time into their studies. 00:02:16.000 --> 00:02:20.000 These are hardworking kids and they deserve a chance in life, 00:02:20.000 --> 00:02:24.000 and you've given them that chance. And hopefully, they will learn from this experience 00:02:24.000 --> 00:02:28.000 and they will be able to bring this back and pay it forward, so that 00:02:28.000 --> 00:02:35.000 when they are sitting here 10 years from now they will able to give 00:02:35.000 --> 00:02:39.000 their donation to some very deserving student like you have tonight. 00:02:45.000 --> 00:02:51.000 all of your lives have been changed for who you are today and the path you have chosen to be here tonight at this dinner 00:02:51.000 --> 00:02:56.000 because of scholarships. So please, when you're finishing your delicious dessert 00:02:56.000 --> 00:02:60.000 and going forward this evening and later on, I want you really to reflect on this evening and 00:03:00.000 --> 00:03:03.000 these questions and ask yourself how you can give the key to 00:03:03.000 --> 00:03:08.000 higher education and opportunities for future students. Thank you. 00:03:08.000 --> 00:03:12.000 As we come to a close and we finish the celebration this evening, 00:03:12.000 --> 00:03:17.000 I hope everyone has been able to learn a little about Western and have a little bit of fun doing it at the same time. 00:03:17.000 --> 00:03:26.000 Whether you are a lifelong donor to Western, a returning scholarship recipient or graduate that is becoming a new donor, 00:03:26.000 --> 00:03:30.000 we look forward to seeing you all again next year and for many, many years to come. 00:03:30.000 --> 00:03:34.000 Thank you so much for attending this evening.