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Marshall Foundation celebrates scholarship recipients, donors with annual brunch

Student scholarship recipients were honored Saturday at Marshall University during the 2024 Scholarship Honor Brunch, hosted by the Marshall University Foundation. This annual event recognizes those students who are beneficiaries of privately funded scholarships, as well as the donors and families who made the awards possible.

Dr. Ron Area, CEO and senior vice president of development of the Marshall Foundation, delivered a special welcome to more than 400 students and donors who attended the event in the Don Morris Room of the Memorial Student Center.

“The Scholarship Honor Brunch unites scholarship recipients and donors, underscoring our dedication to enhancing ongoing support for Marshall University and its students,” Area said. “We are steadfast in our mission to broaden educational access for our students and deeply grateful for the generosity of our donors, who invest in Marshall through their contributions and active participation in today’s event.”

Bonnie Bailey, director of Marshall’s Student Support Services (SSS) Program, served as the featured speaker. The program, which is federally funded, targets students who are first-generation, the first in their family to complete a four-year degree and are income-eligible.

Senior Amelya Bostic from Grundy, Virginia, served as the student speaker. A communication disorders major slated to graduate at the end of April, Bostic spoke about the positive impact Student Support Services has had on her throughout her time at Marshall.

“As an out-of-state student, financially college could have been hard for me, but with SSS, I was able to navigate class and financial aid to graduate early and with very low debt,” Bostic said.

“Through the community I found, I was able to gain the confidence to try new things and find a place where I belong,” she continued. “In addition to this community, SSS has connected me to every department or important person I have needed on my journey here at Marshall from financial aid, housing, academics and community. My time here could have been more difficult without the tools and people SSS knew I needed.”

Bailey began working as a counselor with the Student Support Services Program in July 2005. Before becoming the director and counselor for the SSS Program, she worked as a residential, outpatient and school-based therapist. As a daughter of Marshall, Bailey earned a bachelor’s degree in counseling, a master’s degree in mental health counseling, and an Ed.S. in counseling curriculum. She is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and approved licensed professional supervisor (ALPS) for West Virginia.

Bailey’s program boasts a more than 96 percent persistence, a 98 percent academic good standing rate, and a 76 percent graduation rate, which shows that early intervention, consistent support and relationships truly can and do make all the difference.

“Our program has helped students since 1971. As a first-generation and former student in the program to a staff member since 2005, I can tell you services look different now because the world is quickly moving and changing,” Bailey said. “However, one thing about our services has remained the same – relationships. While these relationships produce great retention and graduation rates, students also grow and achieve their goals. For me, my favorite part of the job is the student-facing responsibilities that promotes the success of our students.”

The College of Arts and Media’s School of Theatre and Dance, along with the School of Music, ended the program with a performance from the musical “Godspell.”

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


Media Contact

Rebecca Stephens
Director, Events and Public Relations
Marshall University Foundation