Alverno Loyal: Scholarship Honors Student Service
When Linda Scheible reflects upon her years as a faculty member in Alverno’s social sciences department, she focuses on the deep connections she formed with her students and colleagues. So much so that nearly 20 years after retirement and a move to Florida, Scheible remains an engaged member of the Alverno community.
“The way we go about teaching at Alverno meant we got really close to our students. I knew many of their struggles,” she says. “I think about my students who were told early in life that they would never get a college degree, they would never make it. They worked so hard to get through school.”
Scheible recalls that in the early 1990s, many students entered Alverno’s social sciences program wanting to make a difference. Some were nontraditional students working in the nonprofit sector who were looking to build the business skills that would help them advance. Scheible worked with colleagues across campus to create a major that combined social science with business management and specifically trained students for leadership and community development.
When she retired in 2002, Scheible and her husband, Mike, wanted to continue helping students who were community-focused. With a daughter in college, they weren’t in a financial position to establish an endowed scholarship, so they set up an annual one.
“The point of the scholarship was to recognize a student who was committed to serving others in whatever capacity that might be,” she says. “We wanted to help students who were widely involved in the greater community or committed to the Alverno community.”
One advantage of the annual scholarship was its flexibility — they could adjust the amount each year based on their circumstances. Scheible knew from her years of working with Alverno students that $1,000 in scholarship money often makes a huge difference for a woman juggling multiple jobs and family responsibilities.
Another advantage of setting up the scholarship was that when they still lived in Wisconsin, the Scheibles were able to meet their scholarship recipients during Alverno’s annual Celebration of Giving event, which connects donors with their scholarship recipients.
“[At Celebration of Giving] students shared their dreams and what they wanted to do for their careers,” Scheible says. “We were always so impressed with what they were doing and their commitments to serving their community. Every one of them was a terrific human being.”
They were so impressed, that while driving home from the event one year, Mike suggested they set up a second scholarship to expand their impact. Being able to meet their scholarship recipients has been extremely meaningful to the Scheibles, so staff in the Alverno Advancement Office ensures that continues by arranging meetings when the Scheibles visit Wisconsin. Last October, they met Alejandra Gonzalez, who graduated in May 2020 and now works as a youth counselor for Voces de la Frontera.
“Meeting Linda and Mike was such an honor. If it wasn’t for their financial support, I wouldn’t be where I am today — which is literally my dream job,” she says. “I am now in a position where I can help young people who are experiencing the same things I did when I was their age, not just through advocacy but through empowerment as well.”
Gonzalez says she looks forward to the day when she can provide financial support to Alverno students.
“I know how much a difference it can make for a first-generation student, and I hope I can open doors for others in the future, too,” says Gonzalez, who will be a panelist for an alumnae event on community involvement in October.
Scheible is pleased that so many scholarship recipients remain involved with Alverno — and that she and Mike are able to stay connected to the college community through the students.
“The letters we get from every recipient are so meaningful,” she says. “Even though I’m not directly teaching students anymore, being part of Alverno and watching students grow and become the people they are becoming let’s me I know I’m still helping them with their education.”
If you are interested in establishing an annual scholarship at Alverno, please contact Alverno’s Advancement team at 414-382-6092. We would be happy to help you establish the criteria for your scholarship and tell you more about the selection process.