Starr Foundation Scholarship recipients Donte Carty ’09, M.B.A. ’12, and Jeremy Ratcliff Hopewell M.B.A. ’12, will be able to apply the funds toward the cost of their M.B.A. studies.
Meaghan Haugh
Jeremy Ratcliff Hopewell (left) and Donte Carty are the first Starr Foundation Scholarship recipients from Rider in 10 years.

Jeremy Ratcliff Hopewell (left) and Donte Carty are the first Starr Foundation Scholarship recipients from Rider in 10 years.

On a recent afternoon during the spring semester, Donte Carty ’09, M.B.A. ’12, and Jeremy Ratcliff Hopewell M.B.A. ’12, were asked to meet with John Farrell, assistant dean of the College of Business Administration’s Graduate and Professional Programs, and Meaghan O’Gara, assistant director of Scholarships and Stewardship. Since Carty and Ratcliff have worked on a variety of projects for the College, both thought they were meeting about a new marketing initiative.

Instead, Farrell and O’Gara presented Carty and Hopewell with some exciting news: the two Master of Business Administration students had been selected to receive Starr Foundation Scholarships for the 2011-12 academic year.

“It was a pleasure to share the news with Donte and Jeremy in person, that they were selected to receive this scholarship. I saw their expression of surprise and gratitude,” O’Gara said. “Their composure and professionalism in accepting this scholarship was impressive, and a testament to why these students are so deserving of this award.”

Established in 1955 by Cornelius Vander Starr, an insurance entrepreneur, the foundation makes grants in a number of areas, including education. In 1989, the Starr Foundation gave $50,000 to Rider to start a scholarship endowment for minority M.B.A. students with financial needs. This is the first year that the scholarship has been awarded in 10 years.

“We saw an opportunity that had not been taken advantage of in a number of years,” Farrell explained. “At the graduate level, scholarships are very difficult to come by. Tuition remission programs are decreasing, and because of the economy, companies are less generous with educational benefits. However, this scholarship demonstrates that there are opportunities for our graduate students to finance their education.”

Farrell said Carty and Hopewell were the most deserving of the scholarship because of their academic success and commitment to University initiatives.

“Donte is a fixture in the Athletics department as its graduate assistant. He’s also in the process of developing the social media strategy for the College of Business Administration,” Farrell said.  “He truly represents Rider in a way that can truly make us proud.”

In addition, he said Hopewell is an outstanding, very engaging student.

“He’s a very focused, multitalented individual, who has blended his creative background as a graphic artist with his M.B.A. studies, making valuable contributions in the classroom,” Farrell said.

Hopewell, a graduate assistant in the Marketing department, said he was pleasantly surprised to learn that he had received the scholarship. “With this scholarship, I might be able to pick up another class during the summer session,” said Hopewell, who plans to graduate in fall 2012.

Carty, who received bachelor’s degrees in Management and Leadership and plans to graduate this May, said the scholarship will relieve some of his tuition debt.

“I was thrilled to award the scholarship to the two of them and to reenergize the scholarship to our graduate students and programs,” Farrell said. “We’re really appreciative of the Starr Foundation. As an institution, we have a strong commitment to help students finance their education.”

O’Gara echoed Farrell sentiments on the importance of scholarship support.

“Rider students work very hard for their education in the classroom, in their jobs and in their extracurricular activities,” she said.  “There is no greater reward than to see these students receive the support and accolades they so deserve.”