Five Coe students have been chosen as Clark Merit Scholars for the 2019-2020 academic year. This prestigious award carries a prize equal to one year's tuition. Clark Merit Scholars are chosen each year by a committee of two faculty members and one board of trustees member. Award recipients are chosen based on demonstrated qualities of character, integrity, intellect, leadership and social responsibility.
This year's recipients are Varsha Aditya ’20 and SaCora Fisher ’20 of Marion, Iowa, Sigrid Van Den Abbeele ’20 of Westminster, Colorado, Austin Mills ’20 of Watkins, Iowa, and Constance Schlitter ’20 of Swisher, Iowa.
Aditya, a nontraditional student, finds special meaning in this award. “It means Coe believes in me and that it is possible for a single mom to go back to school and succeed,” Aditya said.
“I never imagined I would find such a supportive community of peers and professors at Coe.”
The Clark Merit Award is helping Fisher plan for medical school. “There are so many deserving candidates; it is a privilege to be among the named recipients,” Fisher said. “This scholarship will help me to be more financially prepared for the next step in my education.”
Van Den Abbeele is reaping the rewards of continued hard work. “Winning this award will not only serve as motivation to work harder than ever during my senior year but it will also make other opportunities more financially feasible,” Van Den Abbeele said.
The Clark Merit Award inspired Mills to make a difference. “I have always dreamed about making a difference in the world, especially in terms of the environment/nature,” Mills said. “The confidence of the Clark Merit Committee in my abilities and potential has reaffirmed my desire and drive to go out and do just that.”
Schlitter is looking forward to returning “home” this fall. “This award will allow me to pursue academic and extracurricular endeavors throughout my senior year without the stress of the financial burden,” Schlitter said. “I will take full advantage of every opportunity to learn, grow and explore in my last year at Coe. I can't wait to be back on campus this fall and enjoy my final days at the school I call home.”
The Clark Merit Awards are funded by an endowment created in 1995 by the late Coe alumnus K. Raymond Clark '30. Clark's gratitude and loyalty to his alma mater were unequivocally and magnificently evidenced by his service as a member of Coe's board of trustees from 1966 until his death in 2005 and by his unparalleled record of personal giving to the institution. The Clark Racquet Center and Clark Field, the Clark Alumni House, the Contemporary Issues Forum and the Clark Endowment for Merit Awards have significantly enhanced the Coe educational experience and greatly strengthened the institution.
Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe’s vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.
Written by: Amanda Proper
Media contact: Natalie Milke, 319.899.3784