An alumna from Columbia College has donated $3.1 million to the university, which the school says is its largest gift to date.
Carol Vinkemulder Frobish, a 1949 English graduate of what was then Christian College, had made several donations in recent years to establish a scholarship in her name. The latest and largest donation was given to the college before Frobish died in September of 2003.
The gift will be used in part to fund a scholarship established in her name. Women pursuing business majors who have at least a 3.0 grade point average are eligible for the annual award, which totaled $2,500 last year. The student must also demonstrate financial need.
Established in 2000, the scholarship was a way for Frobish to give back to her school and allow other students to have the chances she had.
“She really believed Christian College changed her life in very positive ways,” said Gerald Brouder, president of Columbia College. “The experience helped her clarify her values, and she wanted other students to have that same experience.”
One such student is current scholarship holder Kelly McAndrew of O’Fallon, a senior majoring in accounting and finance.
McAndrew, 20, received the award in April at the Honors and Awards Convocation.
“I am the first in my family to go to college, so to receive this scholarship was really an honor,” McAndrew said. “I was glad it could help out my parents by paying for part of my education.”
Frobish, who lived in Mission Viejo, Calif., until her death, had decided to endow her scholarship with half of the money. The remainder was to be used as general operating money in the areas of greatest need, which have not yet been formally identified.
“In-depth discussion will take place as we launch our next capital fund-raising campaign at some point within the current calendar year,” Brouder said. “The ultimate decision resides with the board of trustees but will be based on recommendations from the administration.”
Brouder said he is delighted to receive new money for the Carol Vinkemulder Frobish Scholarships.
“It makes us feel good,” Brouder said. “The earnings will provide scholarships for some who, for lack of funds, might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend college.”