More than 100 students and staff from SCICU member colleges and universities visited the State House on April 9 to personally thank the members of the General Assembly for their support of the Tuition Grant program. This year, 13,500 resident students are able to attend the private, non-profit college or university of their choice because of over $36 million in financial assistance provided by need-based Tuition Grants.
Prior to the delegation’s visit to the State House, Tuition Grant recipients from SCICU’s 20 member colleges and universities wrote individual thank you letters to their resident House and Senate members. More than 7100 letters of appreciation—an average of 42 letters per member— were sent to state representatives and senators.
In addition to meeting with their hometown representatives and senators, the students heard from Sen. Darrell Jackson of Columbia who was honored as the 2014 SCICU Legislative Champion. Sen. Jackson, a graduate of Benedict College and Columbia International University, explained how his education at two independent institutions of higher learning was essential to his success as a pastor, businessman, and state senator.
During his visit with the students, Sen. Jackson presented them with a Concurrent Resolution passed by the Senate and the House which recognizes the outstanding contributions that independent colleges and universities have made to the State of South Carolina and joins Gov. Nikki Hayley in recognizing the week of April 7-11 as Independent College and University Week and April 9 as Independent College and University Day. Sen. Jackson was the author of the resolution.
After a morning of face-to-face meetings, the students gathered on the steps of the State House for the traditional group picture. In a brief ceremony on the steps, SCICU President & CEO Mike LeFever presented the students with a Proclamation from Governor Nikki Haley which encourages all South Carolinians during Independent College and University Day/Week to recognize private non-profit colleges and universities for their positive contributions to ensuring our state’s continued status a leader in higher education.