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BC to Receive Service Endowment for Bonner Scholars

BC will be one of five colleges to receive a large endowment from the Bonner Foundation to ensure the continuation of its Bonner Scholars Program.

The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, which provides service-based scholarships to college students who dedicate themselves to community involvement, has awarded a total of $20.5 million in challenge endowment grants to be distributed to five colleges, including Berea College, Guilford College (Greensboro, NC), Mars Hill College (Mars Hill, NC), Rhodes College (Memphis, TN), and Waynesburg College (Waynesburg, PA). Collectively these campuses must raise matching endowment gifts totaling $9.3 million. Combined, these new endowments will support 300 students through the Bonner Scholars Program, a service-based scholarship program that has provided opportunities for thousands of students over the past 13 years on 25 college campuses.

BC President Larry Shinn comments, "The Bonner Foundation's relationship with Berea College goes back to the beginning of its program when John Stephenson helped Mr. Bonner design the program. Therefore, it is especially gratifying to me that Berea College will now become an endowed Bonner College. Berea students who are Bonner Scholars have been exemplary servant-leaders on campus and in the wider Berea community. I am delighted this program will continue to provide scholarships to Berea students in the future."

Now completing its 13th full year, the Bonner Scholars Program, sponsored by the Bonner Foundation of Princeton New Jersey was initiated at Berea College during the 1990-91 academic year. In the following year, the program expanded to 12 campuses and 750 students before growing to its current size of 25 schools and approximately 1,600 students. The colleges and universities that participate in The Bonner Scholars Program were selected based on their financial support to low-income students, their engagement in the community, and their desire to work with a consortium of colleges and universities that share a common commitment to promote a culture of service on their campus.

The Bonner Program allows students to be actively involved in community service activities throughout the school year and during the summer. Bonner Scholars are selected from the incoming freshmen class and are expected to stay involved in the program throughout all four years of college. Students must make significant commitments to grow as individuals, work collectively as a group, and to have a meaningful and lasting impact in the communities where they serve. Since the inception of the program in 1990 more than 3,000 students have successfully completed the requirements of the Bonner Program and graduated from college.

For Berea, this endowment will enable the Bonner Scholars Program to remain an active part of the college community indefinitely and allow continued community service opportunities to BC students.

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