Scholarship Honor Brunch 2018

Scholarship donors, recipients honored at annual brunch

April 14, 2018

Marshall University donors and current recipients of privately funded scholarships were honored today at a Scholarship Honor Brunch in the Memorial Student Center’s Don Morris Room on the Huntington campus.

The event is an annual observance at which donors and the scholarship recipients who benefit from their generosity are able to meet.

Mary Bunten, 22, a scholarship recipient and biotechnology major from Huntington, addressed the audience and discussed what she refers to as “planned happenstance.

“Planned happenstance is a term coming to be known as both an attitude that you gain and actions that you take. It is the ideology that you can create opportunities by taking action on your curiosity without letting a certain ‘path’ pin you down. Throughout my journey at Marshall, I lived the planned happenstance way of life and I was greeted with success and adventure beyond my wildest expectations,” Bunten said.

Recipient of the Nancy Pelphrey Scholarship for Marching Band, Flag Corp and Dance Team, Bunten said her time at Marshall has prepared her to pursue her Ph.D. in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics this fall.

A scholarship recipient during his undergraduate years, Marshall President Jerome A. Gilbert spoke at the brunch about the importance of opening doors through financial support at the university level.

“At Marshall, we understand the key to unlocking the potential in each of us is achieved through higher education. Oftentimes, higher education isn’t possible without financial support. This is why it is so important we host events like this annual scholarship brunch to recognize our donors for their commitment to helping students achieve their goals,” Gilbert said. “Without their support, many of our students would not be here today. We are eternally grateful for these members of our Marshall family who have chosen to give back in this way.”

Dr. Ron Area, chief executive officer of the Marshall University Foundation, said the foundation will continue to sponsor events like this to recognize donors and recipients.

“For many of our scholarship students, college is a blind leap of faith,” Area said. “They do not necessarily begin college with a scholarship. Donors also are taking a blind leap of faith, assuming the recipient of the scholarship attends class, studies hard and gets good grades. Scholarships do more than open financial doors for students; they provide support in terms of confidence that someone believes in them. Donors help students realize this leap of faith will be remembered as a stepping stone on their path to higher achievement.”

Area said more than 400 people attended today’s event, including donors, scholarship recipients and members of the university community.

To learn how to establish a scholarship to help students succeed, contact Krystle Davis at the Marshall University Foundation by phone at 304-696-6781 or by e-mail at

Pictured: (Above) Scholarship recipients at Marshall University pose at the annual brunch on April 14. (Below) Mary Bunten, senior biotechnology major and scholarship recipient, was the featured speaker.

Listen to Mary Bunten’s remarks here.

View photos from the 2018 Scholarship Honor Brunch 

To visit past years, please follow the links below. 

Scholarship Honor Brunch 2017

Scholarship Honor Brunch 2016

Scholarship Honor Brunch 2015

Scholarship Honor Brunch 2014

Scholarship Honor Brunch 2013