The Stainman Family Fund helps high achievers in Rider complete their education and graduate with as little debt as possible
This year, a Rider scholarship funds the education of eight students.
Recipients say they are “beyond grateful” for the support of the Stainman Family Fund, which was established in 2015 by Arthur ’65 and Lois Stainman, and their children, Susan and Evan ’01 Stainman, to help high-achieving juniors and seniors. seniors in financial need eliminate much of their student debt.
“As the daughter of a single mother, I pay for a lot of my college expenses myself,” says one of the scholarship recipients, Alyxandria Batty, a musical theater student. “It took away a lot of what I would have to pay back. Now I no longer have to pay interest on my loan from last year – that loan has now run out. So that’s huge!”
The endowed scholarship fund assists students who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
In addition to Batty, this year’s recipients include seniors Xyaire Merriweather and Ethan Manton and junior Amaya Pegeron.
In addition, four other students have been notified that they will receive the scholarship for a second year. Fellowships for seniors Christopher Lynch, Avery Thomson, Ryan Won and Meghan Mulhearn are renewed.
“It was so awesome to get the scholarship again this year,” said Mulhearn, a marketer from Jefferson Township, NJ. “I take out loans every year. My mother is a single mother, so it is a burden to pay the loans myself. Thanks to the Stainman family and my Rider scholarship, my expenses have been covered for the past two years.
Mulhearn, a Delta Phi Epsilon sister, says the Stainman Fellowship “lifted my spirits and allowed me to do something I’ve always wanted, which is to live in the house of the sorority. It’s something more than I could ever afford before and I’m so happy to be able to experience it before I graduate.
Avery Thomson says receiving the scholarship has brought “peace and resolution” to his life, especially now in the uncertainty of the pandemic.
“This scholarship took months, if not years, out of my work paying off student loans on my shoulders and those of my family,” he says. “It means the world to me.”
Thomson, a resident of Middletown, NJ, says that instead of working more than 50 hours during the winter term, he can now focus more on his studies. He holds a triple major in organizational psychology, information systems and business analysis.
Xyaire Merriweather of Rahway, NJ, a public relations specialist, said the news that she had been awarded the Stainman scholarship for her final year at Rider gave her the opportunity to push ahead with her plans to enroll in the master’s program. in Business Communication from Rider after graduating in May. She hopes to open her own public relations firm to promote diversity and inclusion issues or to help with crisis communications.
“My parents had just taken out a loan for my senior year, so we were all thrilled to hear that I was getting this scholarship,” she says. Merriweather says the funds will allow her to repay the loan, “wipe out the debt” and put her further into achieving her ultimate goal of opening her own public relations business. “I love going to school and I love going to my classes, and thanks to this scholarship, it’s good to know that I can now focus on just that. My family and I are beyond grateful.
Since the endowment’s inception, Stainman, a Rider Trustee, along with his wife, Lois, and children Susan and Evan, have made several donations to increase the number of students the scholarship can help. To date, the scholarship has helped 31 students, helping to reduce their college debt.
This year’s recipients attended a luncheon on campus in December with University President Gregory G. Dell’Omo and Arthur Stainman, where they were able to express their gratitude for the Stainmans’ support of the scholarship and tell what it means to them and their families.
“I was so excited to meet this year’s Stainman Family Scholarship recipients and hear how the Stainmans’ support makes such a difference in their lives,” says Dell’Omo. “When Rider alumni give back in this meaningful way, they have such a big impact on our students. I’ve been privileged to see that impact firsthand.
Upon learning that she was a recipient and that the scholarship would allow her to repay her full loan for this school year, Amaya Pegeron of Piscataway, NJ, says she was eager to share the good news with her mother. “She was so excited and proud that she literally started crying. I pay all my loans myself so it was such a blessing and a huge weight on my shoulders.
In addition to studying marketing, Pegeron also works full-time at Ulta Beauty and says her dream is to be able to study in Italy for a semester. Because the stock market relieved some of her debt, she says she now feels more confident that she can pursue this dream. She has already reached out to an adviser to find out more about studying abroad for her final year where she hopes to find out how COVID-19 has affected tourism in places like Venice.
“I’m beyond grateful that someone is investing in my future so that I can pursue other opportunities on campus,” she says. “I now have the opportunity to get more involved in clubs, groups and other activities. This scholarship has opened up so many opportunities for me.
For more information on how donating to an existing scholarship or establishing a new scholarship can benefit talented Rider students with financial need, contact Associate Director Gabrielle Rinkus at [email protected] or 609-896-5344.