First full-ride for Columbia

By Alexandra Kukulka

Columbia will be awarding its first full-ride scholarship to a current freshman student this spring. The scholarship will begin in the fall of his or her sophomore year.

The Dammeyer Scholarship, which was named after Columbia alumna Diane Dammeyer, will pay for one student’s last three years of college. The scholarship is available to students of any major and will cover tuition, fees and on-campus housing.

According to Nancy Rampson, director of Development, Dammeyer was a nontraditional student, who came to Columbia as an adult after completing a career and decided she wanted to study photography. She worked for an international organization called Heartland Alliance, which focuses on poverty alleviation, Rampson added.

Dammeyer took photos for the organization so that she could continue to work for it and keep up with school, Dammeyer said. It was an experience that changed her life. Now she wants to help Columbia students do the same, Rampson said.

“The idea is for a student to use whatever [his or her] major is and use it in conjunction with a non-profit organization that is doing human service work,” she said. “They can work together. The student can build [his or her] portfolio and engage more fully with a nonprofit.”

The student will be required to create a lasting project for the non-profit organization, said Eric Winston, vice president of Institutional Advancement.

Dammeyer decided to only pay for the last three years of college for the selected freshman.

“The student can have time to develop just a little bit,” Dammeyer said. “This is not a simple task. The first year [he or she] can get oriented to school and figure out what [his or her] major is.”

A committee has been formed to select the recipient of the scholarship, according to Winston. He added that there are five faculty members from various departments, along with several support people as part of this committee.

The committee will be in charge of making sure the student is making progress and working with the nonprofit group, Winston said.

“We are excited to be working with some nonprofits that Columbia has already worked with and some new nonprofits to be potential partners for the students,” Rampson said. “We are excited to expand Columbia’s partnership opportunities.”

For more information, visit the Student Financial Services website.