Future students of the Matanuska-Susitna College recently became the beneficiaries of a new scholarship established by Valley residents Bob and Charilyn Cardwell, according to campus director Dr. Talis Colberg.
While the Cardwells wanted to keep the exact amount of their donation discreet, Colberg said, “it is substantial enough that it will mean thousands of dollars in annual scholarships to provide financial assistance for tuition and other related expenses to vocational education students at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Matanuska-Susitna College.” He added that in addition, the already large scholarship endowment is likely to grow significantly because it also involves a charitable rollover from the Cardwells IRA and another gift planned in their will.
Bob Cardwell is a retired local school principal, and according to Colberg, the genesis of the scholarship idea came in part from Bob’s experiences as a student.
According to Colberg, Cardwell had been a student at Shoreline Community College in Washington state many decades ago. One day he and five other students were called into the office of the college director, who announced to them that an anonymous donor had asked the director to select six students in order to pay their tuition as an “achievement scholarship” — with no strings attached.
“Mr. Cardwell never forgot that gesture,” Colberg said. “Both he and his wife have grown to appreciate this college and this community and decided to set up their own ‘achievement scholarship’ to benefit students at Matanuska-Susitna College.”
“This is the seventh major new scholarship established at Matanuska-Susitna College in seven years,” Colberg added. “The new scholarship funds have been endowed by local people for the benefit of local students. Even as the college has reduced staff in a period of new fiscal realities it is re-assuring and uplifting to see thoughtful individuals, like Mr. and Mrs. Cardwell, step forward and offer their hard earned personal savings to support educational opportunities at the Matanuska-Susitna College. It is exciting news and we are happy to be the beneficiaries of their generosity.”