Donor Appreciation Luncheon Sets Record

April 10, 2017

By Bob Holmes

The 2017 Columbia International University Donor Appreciation Luncheon that brought together CIU scholarship donors and student recipients was the largest in CIU history with 180 people in attendance. The April event gave CIU students the opportunity to meet the people who are helping to make their education possible.

One by one, dozens of CIU students strolled up to a microphone to thank the donors. Senior Guillermo Arce-Ruiz mentioned that he works at a local five-star hotel where he has met famous people such as the prime minister of China and football great Brett Favre. They want to know where he goes to college, giving him an opportunity to tell them about CIU.

“The people are impressed,” Arce-Ruiz said.

Meanwhile, the scholarship donors say they are impressed with the students they are assisting. Among them are The Rev. Rick Trott and his wife Joyce who made the trip to the luncheon from Charlotte, North Carolina. Both are CIU graduates from the 1960s. 

“I think it’s exciting to see the outcome of what the Lord is doing with the students — their  energy and excitement about going forward to minister the Word and to share what they have learned and bring others along,” said Mrs. Trott.

Speaking for the couple, The Rev. Trott says their desire to provide scholarships to the students comes from a conviction instilled in them when they were CIU students.

“We were taught to give and help other people,” Trott said. ”So if you see your brother in need, and you don’t give, shame on you.”

The luncheon gave the donors their first opportunity to meet CIU President-Elect Dr. Mark A.  Smith who officially takes office on July 1. Smith was the featured speaker and personally met the donors at a reception after the luncheon. He assured the donors that under his presidency, he will build on the foundation laid by CIU’s previous six presidents and CIU’s heritage of taking the gospel around the world.

“My goal as I come is to build on the legacy of the great men who have led you,” Smith said. “I’m trying to understand who you are.”  

In thanking the scholarship donors for their support, Smith pledged his commitment “to lead faithfully with high character through prayer and leadership.”

“We will continue this great mission to take Christ to the nations every day,” Smith said.

Learn more about supporting CIU students through scholarships. Call (803) 807-5500.