We can all agree that education is important but it does not always come at the “cheapest” price. This is especially true in regards to higher education. And it is because of the expenses of school that financial aid, through grants and scholarships tend to be important for students. However, this help would not exist without the people who contribute and donate to funds that accrue resources for student scholarships.
Recently, as most of you may know, our school president, Mark Weiss, has been absent on campus due to personal reasons. For that purpose and thanks to the idea of our school president, who suggested that whoever donated an “X” amount of money to a scholarship fund on campus, could be WOU president for a day had many of the staff members intrigued. Of these members, Marshall Guthrie, one of the educational advisors for the SEP program decided that he was willing help our students, while having the pleasure of being the school president for a day.
Upon speaking with him, Guthrie admitted that he has always valued education, especially because as a first generation, low-income student, he worked hard in order to pay off his schooling. And when I asked him why he decided to contribute to the scholarship fund, he answered that it was due to his “own experience”. As mentioned, he was a low income, first generation student, who knows what it is like to struggle. It is because of this that he feels like it is now his turn to “pay for somebody else’s dream”. Also, he admitted that when President Mark Weiss brought up the innovative idea, he knew that it would be fun, so that is another reason why he decided to help.
Of course, upon speaking with Guthrie, I was curious, so I asked what it was like to be president for a day. He admitted that being president did not acquit him of doing his usual activities, such as attending committee meetings and having sit-downs with students. But Marshall did talk about his experience, “It was awesome, and everyone played along.” He even exercised his powers to summon the director of the business office, to talk about parking and alternative transportation (bike riding).
Overall, Guthrie wants to tell people that “every little bit counts and you shouldn’t think that you should have to give a huge amount [of money]”—in regards to donating to scholarships funds. So for anyone out there thinking about donating to a scholarship fund at WOU, or any scholarship in general, do not think that it is a competition to see whom contributes the most money, rather, it is about the intention. Just as people often say, “It’s the thought that counts.”
By Antonia Rojas