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Students, Donors Connect at Scholarship Recognition Program

Twenty-four years ago this month, Russ and Carol Greenfield’s lives changed forever after their son, Tom, a pre-med student at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, was killed.

To honor his memory, Russ (class of ’57 and a former member of the Augustana Board of Trustees) and Carol (class of ’61) established the Thomas Russell Greenfield Memorial Scholarship at Augustana, an endowed scholarship designed to provide financial support to undergraduate students majoring in the natural sciences who plan to pursue careers or advanced degrees in medicine.

On Sunday at Augustana’s scholarship recognition program and dinner, the Greenfields had a chance to meet senior biology major Wadie Mahauad-Fernandez, the 2011-12 Thomas Russell Greenfield Memorial Scholarship recipient.

“This is a great gift – it helps me so much,” Mahauad-Fernandez said. The 21-year-old Ecuador native says that, following graduation, he plans to stay in the U.S. and pursue his graduate degree with hopes of one day working in microbiology research.

For the Greenfields, meeting Mahauad-Fernandez and learning about his goals to work in medical research was a special opportunity.

“We wanted this scholarship to go to biology majors because our son was pre-med,” Carol said. “It’s a way of keeping his spirit alive.”

Mahauad-Fernandez is one of many Augustana students who are recipients of the College’s 582 endowed and annual scholarships, financial gifts awarded to students based on, primarily, academic merit and financial need.

Sunday’s program, which was held in the Morrison Commons dining hall, was a chance for donors and the students and families their gifts impact, to meet and get to know one another. The event included a performance by the Augustana Saxophone Ensemble and a message from Rev. A. Richard “Pastor Pete” Petersen, former campus pastor and professor emeritus of HPER,

“For many of our donors, giving a scholarship gift to an Augustana student is a way of "paying it forward” – a way to return the thoughtfulness and generosity they received through endowed and annual scholarships during their time as students. For the students who receive these scholarships, the Scholarship Recognition Program offers them an opportunity to offer their thanks and appreciation for the generosity bestowed upon them,” said Rob Oliver. “Our students often tell us how much it helps to know that people are cheering them on as they push through tough courses in pursuit of their degree. To our donors who invest their personal spirit and financial resources in our students, we offer our deepest and most sincere gratitude.”

PICTURED ABOVE: From left to right: Senior Wadie Mahauad-Fernandez, Russ Greenfield and Carol Greenfield at the 2011 Scholarship Recognition Program and Dinner.