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Celebrating students and our donors

The Tidewater Community College Educational Foundation celebrated the accomplishments of the past year’s scholarship recipients and honored the donors behind the gifts at a spring afternoon luncheon at the Portsmouth Campus.

Kieran Richardson-Geehan, recipient of the Thomas L. Oliver Student Aid Fund and The Coca-Cola Scholarship, was the featured student speaker. Richardson-Geehan, a 2012 TCC honors graduate and a development office staff member, relocated to the United States from England and started at the college at age 16. With plans to major in business, he will continue his studies at the College of William and Mary this fall.

Gerald Ortiz, who established the Gerald and Kathleen Ortiz Alumni Scholarship, spoke on behalf of the donors. Jerry and Kathy founded the scholarship as an expression of gratitude for the role TCC has played in their lives. Jerry, who is TCC’s alumni relations officer, enrolled at the college after retiring from the Navy and graduated in 2004.

“For me, it is about paying it forward,” Ortiz said. “After 21 years in the military, I found a new career thanks to the start I got at TCC.”

Kathy Ortiz, a practicing attorney, will graduate with her certificate from TCC’s Culinary Arts program in May 2013.

The Gerald and Kathleen Ortiz Alumni Scholarship is awarded each semester to a graduating student who is completing a degree program, intends to transfer to a four-year school and plans to remain involved in the future of TCC as an active alumni.

In the past year, the Educational Foundation facilitated the establishment of several new scholarships: the Kathleen Marie Eddy Art Scholarship, the Joanne Randolph Nursing Scholarship, the A-TECH Gives Back Scholarship, the Ruth Knowles Scarlott Memorial Scholarship, the Eric Bean Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Marjorie J. Shaw Memorial Scholarship and the Deborah M. DiCroce Endowed Scholarship. In addition, the Clark-Janis Scholarship awarded its first seven scholarships. The endowed nursing scholarship is funded by contributions from The Clark-Janis Foundation and Mary Clark Janis, who serves on The TCC Educational Foundation Board.

Through the efforts of the Educational Foundation and the generosity of private donors, TCC annually offers more than $127,000 in funding to over 100 scholarships, awarded based on financial need, specialized fields of study and academic achievement.