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Hardship Fund

Westminster Community Rallies Around Hardship Fund


Elle Jahara Orfield is a bright and busy international business major and workstudy student.  Working with the college’s Orientation Team, Elle loves building relationships with incoming freshmen and making them feel welcome. In addition to her role on the Orientation Team and managing the demands of a full class schedule, Elle works in the Financial Aid office, which has given her the opportunity to see the excitement of other students who receive tuition assistance. She also knows firsthand how important scholarships are, as a recipient of the college’s Hardship Fund.

“My family has gone through a few hard times, and we have worked to be persistently positive in the face of obstacles,” she said. “While we have many strains in our lives, we keep our positive outlook and fight to make things work.”

The Hardship Fund was established last year as the McCarthey Emergency Relief Fund by the McCarthey Family Foundation. This fund helps Westminster students weather unexpected life events, such as a medical crisis, loss of employment, or death of a parent, that can jeopardize their enrollment.
Because the Hardship Fund’s impact to students is immediate, it has quickly become a popular opportunity for giving within the Westminster community. For the last two holiday seasons, the college’s Advancement staff has chosen to forgo small holiday gift giving, opting instead to contribute what they would have normally spent to the Hardship Fund.

“Collectively, the office has raised $500 to $1,000 each year to assist those in need,” said Dana Tumpowsky, director of parent and campus relations. “Word has spread among employees at the college, and many more are choosing to direct their holiday giving to the Hardship Fund.”

In addition to the Advancement team’s efforts, the Hardship Fund was the top choice of campus projects to fund during “Love UT Give UT,” a 24-hour, state-wide philanthropic blitz campaign that occurred on March 22. Westminster took the number one fundraising spot in Love UT Give UT’s schools and universities category, earning an additional $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Utah. “Not only did the Love UT Give UT campaign raise funds for Westminster students most in need of short-term help, it gained new supporters, and awareness for the importance of this fund grew immensely,” said Lynn Heinlein, director of annual giving. On the heels of Love UT Give UT, the graduating class of 2013 chose to support the Hardship Fund for the class gift. More than 300 students gave to Students Helping Students—The Hardship Fund to help their peers stay enrolled at Westminster. Chaired by Brian Panter (’13) and Kito Temkin (’13), the class gift campaign was supported by more than 50 percent of the graduating class, securing a $5,000 challenge grant from alumna and trustee Kim T. Adamson (’79). “Kito and I noticed that students really connected with the opportunity to help each other,” said Brian. “Once people realized that the class gift was going to help other students, oftentimes they would give more!”

If you would like to support the Hardship Fund, please give online at www.westminstercollege.edu/giving.