by Tiffany Martinez
Cameron University has established a new endowed scholarship this semester in honor of the late C.P. Mercadente, Lawton resident and businessman.
Endowed scholarships are monetary gifts given to universities or colleges that are used to fund students. Endowed scholarships are renowned as gifts that last indefinitely. The granted sum of money is an investment and the interest earned from the donation funds the scholarship.
A $10 thousand investment is the minimum required to create an endowed scholarship at CU. The generous $30 thousand investment of the C.P. Scholarship was allotted to the university by the son of C.P. Mercadente.
Mercadente imigrated to the northeastern part of the United States from Italy when he was six-years-old. At 20- years- old, he began to travel the country as part of his military career. He eventually chose to make Lawton, home for himself and his family in the early 1950’s because he was so impressed with the friendly and hospitable nature of the people who inhabited the Lawton area.
Albert Johnson, Jr., Vice President for University Advancement, oversees the Alumni Association, private incoming funds to CU and businesses filtering through the Center of Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES). He feels that the C.P. Mercadente Endowed Scholarship is a great contribution to the University.
“It is private donations that allow the university to benefit,” Vice President Johnson said. “When private donations like this are made it means that people are recognizing the great value of Cameron University and investing in it.”
Vice President Johnson understands the need for such a contribution to the university.
“Lawton embraced Mr. Mercadente,” Vice President Johnson said. “Now his scholarship is embracing students here.”
Students may benefit monetarily through endowed scholarships, but they are not the only ones.
“Endowed scholarships are permanent and amazing gifts,” Vice President Johnson said. “They also serve as the greatest of compliments to administrators, because it lets us know that if people are willing to invest in this university, we are doing our jobs well.”
To qualify for the C.P. Mercadente Endowed Scholarship, a student must be a Business Major and an international student.
Santosh Thapa, a 21-year-old Business Major from Nepal, was the first recipient of the scholarship.
“I am very pleased to have received the C.P. Mercadente Scholarship this year,” Thapa said.
In late August, the CU Scholarship Selection Committee awarded the scholarship to Thapa, which deducted 300 dollars from his student fees.
Vice President Johnson helps organize and attends the Scholarship Appreciation Dinner at CU every two years. The dinner links recipients and donors of particular scholarships together.
“There is no greater reward for a donor than to be able to see a student receiving an education because of his or her investment,” Johnson said. “It is great to be able to witness that.”