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Even During Times of Decreased Donor Giving, HSSU Still Celebrates Scholarship Recipients

ST. LOUIS, MO (April 4, 2013) – College sophomore Drake Hall graduated from Webster Groves High School with a 3.8 grade point average. He was well liked and well involved during high school. Because of his grades, he, of course, was inundated with college options. He chose to attend Harris-Stowe State University not only because it was close to home, but he was offered the Henry Givens Jr. Scholarship, which, covered his tuition, books, fees and room and board – and he needed the financial assistance.

Now, a sophomore who serves as a residence hall assistant, Hall is considered one of HSSU’s bright and shining stars, as he continues to excel academically. He will bring the occasion at this year’s scholarship ceremony, an annual tradition that highlights university donors and showcases students who will be financially rewarded for their educational achievements. Most importantly, it gives donors an opportunity to see the benefits of their monetary contributions up close and personal.

Marguerite Bieler Notorangelo, who grew up on a dairy farm in Ferguson, Missouri, graduated from Harris Teachers College in 1940. Realizing at a very young age that she wanted to be a teacher, Harris was the perfect choice for her, as it was considered the best option for aspiring educators during that time. While at Harris, she played basketball and joined a sorority. She was hired as a teacher by the St. Louis Public Schools and later by the Ferguson-Florissant School District.

“She loved teaching,” said her daughter Marge Greenwald. “Most of her years were at Griffith School teaching fourth grade. She was well loved by her students, and many would stop her at Famous Barr or other stores and say hello.”

At Notorangelo’s 90th birthday party, she was honored with a scholarship in her name – The Marguerite Bieler Notorangelo Educators Scholarship – for students majoring in teacher education at Harris-Stowe State University.

“When a scholarship was set up in her name, it was to honor her love of teaching and to make funds available to foster another teacher,” said Greenwald.

In 2010, Marguerite’s husband, Anthony Notorangelo, donated $25,000 to HSSU to establish the renewable scholarship, and each year since the contribution, one student has received $3,000 per semester.

Donor Gwendolyn Downs never attended college, but she and her husband Roger have always deemed education an important part of an individual’s success. Based on criteria that she and her family set, she annually gives to HSSU via two scholarships that she established in two of her brother-in-law’s names. Additionally, she takes it one step further and donates a car every two years to a deserving single mother who is working toward her bachelor’s degree, something that has never been done before at HSSU.

“I wanted to give back because people were so kind to us as children and always helped my parents,” said Gwendolyn Downs of she and her husband’s choice to donate funds to HSSU. “At this stage of our lives, it’s not about us; it’s about what we can do for someone else to make their life just a little bit easier.”

The need for committed donors like the Notorangelo and Downs family is now greater than ever before, as overall college fundraising – especially at Historically Black Colleges and Universities – is struggling due to the economy. More than 93 percent of HSSU students rely on some form of financial aid, therefore, raising additional funds to assist students with matriculating and persisting through college is a major university priority. Implementing new tuition structures, such as offering up to 16 credit hours for the same rate as a 12 credit-hour load helps students take more classes without added expenses and eventually graduate faster. Such initiatives are what make Harris-Stowe the most affordable bachelor’s degree option in the state, allowing the university to maintain exceptional affordability and accessibility for its students.

Corporations such as Anheuser-Busch and Peabody Energy have been long-time supporters of the award ceremony, as well as entities such as the HSSU Alumni Association and the Fox Family Foundation. The scholarship award ceremony, which is hosted by the Enrollment Management operation at HSSU, will take place on Friday, April 12, 2013, at 11 a.m., in the Emerson Performance Center’s Bank of America Theatre. Nearly 70 students will be given scholarships. If you are interested in establishing a scholarship or donating to HSSU, please contact the Office of Communications, Marketing, Alumni Affairs & Development at (314) 340-3391. All donations to the Harris-Stowe Foundation, a 501c (3) organization, are tax deductible.

Harris-Stowe State University, located in midtown St. Louis, is a four-year institution that offers 15 degree programs in the areas of Accounting, Business Administration, Biology, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Health Care Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Information Sciences and Computer Technology, Mathematics, Educational Studies, Middle School Education, Professional Interdisciplinary Studies, Secondary Education and Urban Affairs. Ranked by U.S. News as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, the university, which has been in existence for more than 150 years, offers the most affordable bachelor’s degree in the metropolitan area.