Celebrating Gifts from the Heart
Annual Hearts and Scholars reception pairs donors with their scholarship recipients
The gift of education is like no other—it can change lives, can transform families and can never be lost or taken away. Last week, UC San Diego’s generous donors and scholarship recipients came together to celebrate the gift of education at the university’s annual Hearts and Scholars dinner. Students were able to meet and thank the benefactors who have helped make their educations possible, while donors were able to learn more about the impact of their support.
“This is one of my favorite events at UC San Diego because this is where we come together to celebrate both the wonderful people who invest in scholarships and the deserving students who benefit from this generosity,” Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla told attendees during the evening. “I believe there is no better gift than the gift of education.”
One student in attendance was Jessie Warme, who is majoring in international studies with a focus on political science, in addition to a double minor in economics and global health. Warme received the Patricia Ordonez Valva Scholarship, an Alumni Leadership Scholarship that was established by John Valva in honor of his late wife and UC San Diego alumna, Patricia. After his wife lost her battle to cancer, John Valva and friends established the scholarship in Patricia’s memory to help students who have been touched by the devastating disease.
Cancer is not a stranger to Warme—she has watched her father battle the disease. She credits the scholarship with helping to alleviate the additional burden of educational costs on her family. “This scholarship gets me a little bit closer to being able to take care of my dad in the future,” said Warme. “I’ve always wanted to tell scholarship donors that every dollar counts and is helpful to get us through school just a little bit easier.”
In addition to a meet and greet with donors and scholarship recipients, the evening included comments from Chancellor Khosla, as well as UC President Emeritus and UC San Diego Chancellor Emeritus Robert Dynes about the impact of scholarships. UC San Diego Emeriti Association President Henry Powell, M.D., who recently provided support for two four-year scholarships with his wife, Mary, also shared what inspires his family to give to scholarships.
“With our contribution, we wish to address a real need,” said Powell. “Many deserving students cannot get an education commensurate with their abilities because California does not support public education with the same commitment that it did in the past. Our goal is to help deserving students get a quality UC education, like those in generations before them.”
As a professor of pathology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, Powell spent much of his career interacting with students. Now an emeritus faculty member who still teaches medical and pharmacy students part time, Powell also spends his time mentoring undergraduate students through the UC San Diego Emeriti Mentoring Program.
“Meeting these students has been a pleasure,” said Powell. “They are outstanding young people who, in two or three decades, will be in positions of local, national and global leadership.”
To learn more about the impact of scholarships or to make a gift, please visit scholarships.ucsd.edu.