ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — Leanna Chojnacki had the rare opportunity last week to personally thank donors for the many opportunities their scholarship money has funded. The senior honor student from Eden was the student speaker at St. Bonaventure University’s 2013 Barbara Carr McKee Scholarship Luncheon.
Chojnacki, a political science and international studies major with a double minor in history and law and society, thanked “those who have donated the gift of education … for giving me the means that I needed to become extraordinary.” She detailed her transformation from a shy 17-year-old to a confident, soon-to-be college graduate.
During her academic career, Chojnacki served as secretary general of the Model United Nations, organized a 200-person Model UN high school conference, and volunteered with numerous organizations such as AmeriCorps and BonaResponds.
The ninth annual scholarship luncheon offered a unique opportunity for St. Bonaventure University donors to witness the culmination of a year of hard work by deserving scholarship recipients.
This year’s luncheon, held April 26 in the Robert R. Jones Board of Trustees Room in Doyle Hall, featured 18 student showcases displaying special projects completed throughout the academic year.
Marianne Letro Laine, ’68, L.H.D., provided the keynote address. A longtime supporter of St. Bonaventure, Laine was named the inaugural chair of the Guild for the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts in 2004 and remains its chair today. As a result of her commitment to the Quick Arts Center, the West Gallery was renamed the Marianne Letro Laine Gallery in May 2010. She aids in funding exhibitions, arts education and other Quick Center projects. She and her husband, Erick, endowed the Mrs. Mary A. Letro Memorial Scholarship in 2011 and the Joseph A. LoSchiavo Endowment for Exhibitions in 2012. They also support the Barbara Carr McKee Endowed Scholarship and the Dr. Boyd A. Litzinger Memorial Scholarship.
Laine urged students to “always remember the wonderful honor you’ve been given.” She reminded the students in attendance that they too could endow a scholarship and “pay it forward” to help ensure that future students are able to pursue their own passions as well.
During the 2012-2013 academic year, 435 students were awarded scholarships. Those at the luncheon represented some of St. Bonaventure’s most academically impressive and socially conscious students. The assistance of scholarships allows students to pursue a high-quality education and give back to their communities.
People interested in creating an endowed scholarship or establishing an annual award should contact Kathleen Ryan, director of scholarships and endowments, by phone at (716) 375-2308 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the University: As a leading Catholic Franciscan University, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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