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Scholarship Makes a Lasting Impact

Brendan AbbertonMU graduate and James S. Rollins Scholarship recipient Brendan Abberton, BS CiE '10, graduated summa cum laude in May 2010 without financial stress. The scholarship not only made a difference to Brendan, but his mother as well.

Raised by a single mother, Brendan understands firsthand the value of a college education. While most high school juniors were planning for prom, Brendan was working 20 to 40 hours a week to save money for college. He completed his last two years of high school from home through an independent study program so he could continue to work. His mother supplemented his savings but made enough that Brendan did not qualify for financial aid. "Every bit counted and helped pay for my expenses and meant my mom would have to pay less," he says.

At MU, Brendan continued to cut costs. He worked as a peer adviser; a student teaching assistant in engineering; a research intern for part of his junior year at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany; and as an honors undergraduate researcher his senior year.

James S. Rollins knew a thing or two about hard work and perseverance. As "Father of the University of Missouri," he led the effort to locate the university in Boone County and gain funding through the Missouri Legislature.

In 1888, James established the James S. Rollins Scholarship, which is awarded to juniors displaying merit, character, and intellectual and literary ability. Brendan received the bachelor's of science in civil engineering and was awarded a fellowship to Northwestern University, where he is continuing his engineering studies.

Brendan recently reflected on how the Rollins family influenced his life: "If you are able to give, it is a good opportunity to help people who may be struggling," he says. "You get to help people, possibly meet them and see how you've affected their lives for the better."

For more information on how to create an endowed scholarship at MU, contact The Office of Gift Planning and Endowments at 1-800-970-9977 or 573-882-0272 or giftplanning@missouri.edu today!

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