STORY OF GIVING
Barron Collier knows that the scholarship he and his family created in the College of Business changes the lives of students every year. What amazes him each fall is the level of effort and achievement he finds in the students who earn scholarships.
“I feel like what I’m doing – funding the scholarships -- is the easy part. These students are doing the hard work,” said Collier. “I don’t know how they get done all that they get done. They’re focused, dedicated and passionate about wanting to be able to make the mark.”
Barron has made the mark himself as a proud alumnus of the USF College of Business. By establishing the Barron Collier/Corporate Mentorship Program First Generation Scholarship, he has given back to his university in a way that reflects some of his own strongly held beliefs.
“As an alumnus, I’ve tried to look at what will both help the university and speak to my own heart. I remember speaking with Judy Genshaft and she brought up the state’s first generation scholarship program. That really resonated with me – I think it’s a very worthy project to get first-time families into higher education.”
The First Generation Scholarship Program is designed to give scholarship aid and access to students who are the first in their families to attend a college or university. The Collier scholarship program was created to provide assistance to first generation students in the College of Business. This year, 15 students earned Collier Scholarships, and more than 40 have done so in the past three years.
For Barron, the scholarship represents the realization of a much higher ideal, and a gateway to a better future.
“That’s one of the major tenants of the American Dream – the ability to improve your educational status,” said Collier. “Education is the key to personal satisfaction and financial advancement. If scholars can shine a light on their own accomplishments, then they become a role model for others in their family, changing their collective fortunes for generations to come.”