During the COVID-19 pandemic, Clarion University alumni and friends came to the aid of students to the tune of $48,733 through the Student Emergency Fund.
"I can't be more proud than I am of our alumni, employees and friends of Clarion University who stepped up to make a difference when our students needed it the most. The COVID-19 pandemic caused massive changes with how we teach and how our students learn, but our Golden Eagle spirit has helped many of our most vulnerable students navigate these difficult times," said Clarion University President Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson.
Because of COVID-19, many students faced unexpected financial hardship for a variety of reasons with the biggest factor being loss of employment. Many students lost their jobs or had parents who lost jobs due to the pandemic.
Others reported the need to enhance their at-home technology in order to finish the semester, while some students had the expenses of mandatory testing for their majors. Other students reported deeply personal situations that left them in a bind.
Regardless of the reason, 188 students had bills and expenses to pay and alumni and friends stepped up. Each student received $250 to help with his or her expenses.
"It's just amazing to see the efforts put in to make sure we're doing OK during this crazy, crazy time," said Student Emergency Fund recipient Jhayda Washington, who is now a senior at Clarion.
Washington said she hopes that she will be able to help students when she is an alumna as alumni and friends helped her.
Clarion University Foundation, Inc. Director of Annual Giving Holly Pipher said it has been an incredible to see the Clarion University community come together to raise more than $48,000 to support students in such a short amount of time.
"These times are extremely unpredictable and unexpected. Not only am I incredibly
thankful for everything that Clarion University has done for me, but I'm humbled to
know that my university and its alumni care so deeply about the students and their
well-being," said Student Emergency Fund recipient Gabriella Tepke, who is now a junior.
The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the necessity of the Student Emergency Fund.
"The current unprecedented health crisis has presented new challenges for many of our students that could impact their ability to continue their education at Clarion," Pipher said. "The vital funding provided through the student emergency fund is needed now more than ever to help alleviate financial burdens our students continue to face as they contend with job loss, housing challenges and other significant hurdles caused by COVID-19."
In addition to the pandemic, the Student Emergency Fund is always there to help students
for a variety of reasons.
"Before the pandemic, students who applied for the emergency fund had reasons such as the loss of their job or a spouse's job or their parent's job. They may have had unexpected medical bills or a parent was medically disabled," Pipher said.
It's never too late to support the Student Emergency Fund. Donations can be made online at clarion.edu/givenow or checks can be made payable to the Clarion University Foundation with 'Student Emergency Fund' noted on the memo line.
The address is:
Clarion University Foundation, Inc.
840 Wood Street, Clarion, PA 16214.