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Abele Foundation Scholars Program Established

Strengthening a commitment to access and affordability for students, Ursinus College has awarded its very first Abele Foundation scholarships to eight students: seven incoming first-year students and one continuing student.

Funded with generous support from Will Abele ’61, a member of the Ursinus board of trustees, and the Abele Family Foundation, the Abele Foundation Scholars Award provides high-achieving students with demonstrated financial need $10,000 in “last dollar” financial aid, after all other gift aid has been awarded to each student.

The aim of this pilot program is to increase access and affordability of an undergraduate liberal arts education for students from low- and middle-income families in Pennsylvania and three neighboring states: New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

In addition to the $10,000 in financial aid, the scholars receive funding for “startup” costs such as the purchase of a laptop or required books; academically enriching pursuits such as internships, summer courses, or academic conferences; and assistance with student debt upon graduation. Rebecca Jaroff, an associate professor of English, will serve as a liaison to the Abele Family Foundation in addition to acting as first-year adviser to the Abele scholars. 

“My wife, Joan, and I are thrilled to assist these talented students as they pursue an Ursinus College education that prepares them to be leaders of the future who live the values of integrity, persistence and empowerment and who understand the importance of paying it forward to others,” Abele says.

Abele scholars will be expected to maintain consistent academic progress; become an active member of the college community by participating in on-campus experiences and internships; and attend programs sponsored by the Abele Family Foundation. Consistent with the values of the Abele Family Foundation, scholars will have an appreciation of the U.S. constitution, the system of free enterprise and are motivated to become informed about the economy, history and government of the United States through coursework in these three disciplines. 

“One of Ursinus’s top priorities is to attract and retain the best new students for our institution,” President Brock Blomberg says. “It is our goal to not only bring them to our college, but to provide the academic support and guidance that allows them to flourish during their four years here. We cannot achieve that without taking bold steps to increase access and affordability so that we can offer the best and brightest students a clearer pathway to Ursinus. This is yet another innovative way that Ursinus is ensuring that any student who wishes to attend Ursinus not only has a means to do so, but will thrive while here. I extend my sincerest thanks to Will and Joan and the Abele Family Foundation for making this pilot scholarship program possible.”

Admitted students who qualified for the scholarship were required to apply by March 5.  Finalists were interviewed on campus during Admitted Students Day on April 6 by a selection committee representing the Abele Family Foundation. Award winners were notified in mid-April. —By Ed Moorhouse

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