Thursday, April 22, 2010

A touching moment

About eight other students at Belmont and myself have been awarded the Henry Horrell Scholarship, sponsored by Steve Horrell, an active and generous Nashvillian and Belmont alumnus, who supports students like me in honor of his father, Henry.  

Henry Horrell was pulled out of school during the depression to help work and support his family.  He was only in 9th grade.  But he would become a successful businessman, meet the President of then-struggling Belmont College, get involved there, and send both his sons to Belmont to receive the first college degrees on either side of the family.  Henry Horrell, with only a 9th grade education, was eventually serving on the Belmont Board of Trustees.  Now Henry is 95 years old, and he still goes into work five days a week.  Admittedly, he spends much time napping is his chair, says his son Steve, but he watches CNN religiously and keeps up with the stocks, and just enjoys being a part of something.  

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet Steve Horrell and the other students he sponsors.  Together we sat down, heard Mr. Horrell's story and involvement with Belmont, the Rotary, and YouthAct, and each had the opportunity to share our story with him -- how we came to Belmont, what we're studying now, our future plans...and most of all we had the opportunity to thank the man who's caring generosity has made it increasingly possible for us to study at this marvelous institution.  I was really touched by the stories of my peers; one girl's dad has MS and hasn't been able to work for years, a few of the young men's fathers had lost their job and weren't able to make tuition payments, some students had twins or siblings that were also going to Belmont or in law school or medical school, a few were the first ones in their family to ever step foot onto a university campus.  I left there feeling really lucky, and just overwhelmed by the positive support of the administration and donors to Belmont.  They really care about students here, and it makes this a very rewarding university experience.  

Belmont is an expensive school, and a lot of students gripe about the landscaping budget (you have to admit, it's gorgeous) and Sodexo's cafeteria food which is at the same benchmark quality as the California's prison system (hey, the prisoners eat well!), but what most students don't know is that our tuition is subsidized by a whopping twenty percent due to donations by philanthropists and alumni.  We only pay eighty percent of what it really costs for us to live and study here each year.  

It really puts things in perspective.


  1. Congratulations on the scholarship! You never cease to amaze me.


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