Gift of Education
New corporate partnership helps first-generation students pursue higher education
by Sara McCaskey (’14)
Westminster has always been committed to providing a high-quality education to all who seek it. Students, faculty, and staff are actively engaged in the community, working as mentors and tutors at schools across the valley and dedicating time and energy to programs like Walkways to Westminster and Promise South Salt Lake.
This year, the college carried that momentum even further, founding the Corporate Community Partnership. The Corporate Community Partnership comprises industry-leading corporations from across Utah. Though the companies span a wide range of industries, they are united by a common goal: providing life-changing opportunities for first-generation students.
Each gift made through the partnership helps support the Westminster First-Generation Scholarship Program, providing not just financial aid but also academic support, mentorship, and practical guidance that help first-generation students achieve their fullest potential.
This past year, approximately 1,200 Westminster students qualified for need-based financial aid, and more than a quarter of those students were first generation. While many students apply for Pell Grants, loans, and work-study opportunities, a gap often exists between what they can afford to pay and the cost of education.
With 22 businesses currently participating in the partnership, the First-Generation Scholarship Program is already making a sizable dent. So far, the partnership has raised $125,000.
Dominion Questar, which has a long history as a Westminster corporate sponsor, joined as a matching partner of the program in the hopes of encouraging other businesses and corporations to get involved.
“Our company has always been one that believes in education,” explains Debra Hoyt, director of community relations for Dominion Questar.
In the past, Dominion Questar has mainly provided funds for scholarships in science, technology, and business, hoping to increase the number of highly qualified workers in its industry. This new partnership provides an opportunity for Dominion Questar to have an even bigger impact, not just in the industry, but in the community as a whole.
“Education is everything,” Debra says. “It’s a stepping stone, a doorway, and a pathway to being an integral part of the community—these students have so much to offer if we give them the chance.”
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster University’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.