Photo: HCCF campaign chair Roy Thompson with student recipient Lizet Ramirez, a senior biology major from Boerne.
Karl Ransleban, a member of the Schreiner University Board of Trustees from Fredericksburg, has given a $50,000 challenge gift to the 2017 Hill Country College Fund drive in the hopes that others will follow his lead. “I want to encourage others to support our Hill Country Students” said Ransleben. “Every gift no matter what size will make a difference and meet my challenge.”
The challenge is being made in memory of Ransleben’s wife, Mary Carolyn, who passed away in November.
L. Beth Johnson, Schreiner’s community development officer, announced Ransleben’s challenge to supporters who filled the Floyd and Kathleen Cailloux Campus Activity Center ballrooms Thursday, March 23, for the campaign’s spring luncheon.
“Our luncheon today honors a very dear person,” Johnson said as photos of Mrs. Ransleben filled projection screens across the ballroom. “Because Mary Ransleben loved helping students complete their college degrees, her husband, Karl, is offering a beautiful tribute to Mary. He will give up to $50,000 to match our gifts to the Hill Country College Fund.”
“Mary had a way of helping everyone become a better person,” said Johnson. “She was so generous herself, that it was hard to turn her down. She knew what she was doing. She always had a million projects going at once. She inspired others to become involved. She made things fun, made people laugh and brightened any room she entered.”
While she spoke, several of the 208 current students who are receiving financial assistance through the HCCF stood at the front of the room, with a row of empty chairs in front of them, representing students who could also be helped if the HCCF meets its goal.
The campaign, chaired this year by Kerrville banker Roy Thompson, has a $625,000 goal.
The HCCF provides need-based scholarships to Schreiner University students from Kerr, Gillespie, Kendall, Bandera, Edwards, Kimble and Real counties. One hundred percent of the money raised goes directly to grants to help students.
Mark Tuschak, vice president for advancement, noted that this was the Hill Country College Fund’s 40th year. Since 1992, it has raised $26 million, with $12 million going to direct scholarships and $14 million going into endowment. “There are not many colleges and universities that can claim community support like we receive at Schreiner from the Hill Country community,” he added.
Current HCCF recipient, senior Lizet Ramirez of Boerne, spoke about the importance of her HCCF grant. The cellular biology major and math minor who is scheduled to graduate this summer, plans to go to graduate school and become a pediatric physician assistant.
The first person in her family to attend college, she graduated in the top 20 percent of her class at Boerne High School, but needed financial help to attend Schreiner.
“Neither one of my parents went to college—my mom barely finished middle school and my dad never got to finish high school,” said Ramirez. “My parents have worked extremely hard to get me to where I am today, and for that I am very thankful. Because of them, I have worked hard to get my college education.”
“Thanks to many scholarships and the Hill Country College Fund, I was able to attend Schreiner,” she said.
Schreiner University President Dr. Charlie McCormick said the HCCF is about a community coming together to support other members of that community. “Cayce and I give to the Hill Country College Fund because we don’t want to just live in the Hill Country, we want to be part of the Hill Country. We want the relationships. We want to support our young people as they achieve their dreams and the dreams of this community.”
“Because of your commitment and awesome relationships with current students and future students through the Hill Country College Fund, Schreiner University will continue to be an exciting institution at our 100th anniversary in 2023, and far, far beyond,” said McCormick.
Donations to the Hill Country College Fund may be made online at www.schreiner.edu/giving. For more information about the HCCF campaign, phone Johnson at 830-792-7204 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.