Alumna's Gift Provides New Scholarship at MCLA


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) recently announced at its 12th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) the addition of the Pamela P. Dennis '82 Achievement and Triumph Fund. In addition to underwriting the cost of the URC, this newly endowed fund provides a $2,000 scholarship for a student each year, as well as an annual student internship at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Mass.

According to MCLA Dean of Academic Affairs Monica Joslin, "We are incredibly honored to receive this gift. This will have a major, positive impact and provide valuable support for the Undergraduate Research Program at MCLA.

"It is so rewarding to know that this generous gift will provide an annual scholarship, as well as underwrite the Annual Undergraduate Research Conference and provide for a student internship. We are extremely grateful for this gift," Joslin said.

Announced on April 17 at the URC by Diane Sammer '81, the fund honors Pamela P. Dennis, a psychology major who graduated from the College in 1982, and who passed away in 2008. The first Pamela P. Dennis Scholarship was awarded by Sammer to Bentley Munsell '15, a double major in biology and psychology from Grand Blanc, Mich.

Munsell, who returned to college after 13 years, said his receipt of the scholarship filled him with "overwhelming gratitude."

"I truly never thought I would be back in school, academically successful and the recipient of such a large and generous scholarship. For me, it means that hard work and perseverance pays off, and perhaps it is not such a long shot to hopefully fulfill my dream of becoming a doctor of osteopathic medicine," Munsell said.

"I have learned that life is full of challenges and struggles, good times and bad. Graduation next spring will be one of the proudest moments of my life - something that I and most of the people in my life 13 years ago did not think was possible," he added. "I will continue to work hard and persevere in everything I do. Fundamentally, it is what I am good at - working hard and pushing forward toward the next obstacle, whatever it may be."

Recipients of the Pamela P. Dennis '82 Scholarship must participate in the URC, demonstrate high potential, and have overcome adversity in their lives. Students who wish to be considered for the scholarship also must submit an essay that speaks to the idea of human triumph and how it relates to their life.

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