Programs & People Summer 2004 Issue

Endowments: “Giving…to somebody really worthy”

“Sometimes an essay is just an essay, and sometimes an essay is a map.”

The AndersonsThat’s how Christy Maurin, recipient of the James W. and Kay Bozarth Anderson Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship in 2002-03, describes the essay she wrote as part of the scholarship’s application requirements: The writing helped her evaluate where she had been and chart where she was headed.

“Writing an essay only takes a few hours of your time, and it really makes students think about what they’re doing presently, and what they want to do in the future,” said Maurin. “Looking back, as a student writing the essay, I thought, ‘Wow. I’ve already done a lot. I’ve really accomplished something.’ It made me feel good that I wrote well enough that I could convey my passion.”

Essay: A guide for student and donors
The Bozarth Anderson scholarship is one of more than 113 established to support College of Agricultural and Life Sciences students. The Andersons, pictured here holding a photo of Maurin (photo by Katherine Jones), take a hands-on role in selecting scholarship winners, reviewing lists of applicants’ extracurricular activities, learning which organizations they belong to, and weighing in their grade point averages. But their ability to articulate their passion is often the deal breaker.

“It’s the one-page essay that helps us make the decision,” notes James Anderson ’55.“It gives you great insight into whether or not the person can put their thoughts into words, and that they can conceptualize their goals,” adds Kay Bozarth Anderson ‘60.

Fourteen students benefit so far
The Andersons established an endowment at the UI in 1989, and amended it to support students of CALS in 1992. Since then, 14 students have benefited from it.

Before the scholarship, Maurin was working 30 hours a week pumping gas. “I pay for school myself, and for me, the scholarship met a real financial need,” said Maurin. “It allowed me to go to work for Gulhan Yuksel (faculty in food science and toxicology) as an undergraduate research assistant. So I was able to work less, work on campus, work in my field, and work toward something that was in my future.”

Maurin graduated in 2003 with a bachelor of science degree in both food science and toxicology and microbiology. She is now in graduate school at the UI, focusing on class work and research in molecular biology that will lead to a master’s in food science.

For donors—“A chance to help humanity”
While the benefit of scholarships to scholars is self-evident, the benefit to donors can be sublime. “I think for me the satisfaction is in contributing to a resource. It is that these students are our greatest chance for the human race to survive, and for the environment that will support the human race to survive,” said Kay Bozarth Anderson. “One or more of the people receiving this scholarship may do something that will help humanity.”

The Andersons, both from families with strong agricultural ties, also established the scholarship in order to perpetuate their families’ commitment to farming, to preserving the character of the land, and to protect the environment. Their love of the Palouse and the University of Idaho, and their commitment to education also underlie the scholarships.

“Even when you’re not giving a great deal when you begin, it does amount to something over time,” said James Anderson, noting that their own goal is to eventually bring the endowment to $100,000. “We’ve built on the endowment for 15 years, and the university manages it well. So we’re able to give something to somebody really worthy.”

But why give at all? “It comes from a sense of giving back when much has been given to you,” says Kay Bozarth Anderson.

The generosity that their endowment embodies is another legacy the Andersons are perpetuating. “I think it’s a wonderful thing they’re doing,” says Maurin. “It’s definitely something that I’m going to do in the future, when I have the financial means.”

© 2004 University of Idaho, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

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