Presidential Scholarship Ball Reflects COVID-19’s Impact on Campus

While so much of Utah Valley University’s campus remains shut down to some extent, other services and events have been forced to adjust in order to stay open — while still protecting students and faculty from contracting COVID-19. One such event is the annual Presidential Scholarship Ball, a fundraiser that supports 334 students who are currently on the Presidential Scholarship.

Rather than the usual formal gala one might expect for a fundraiser of this scale, the event has been rebranded as the “President’s Drive-in Scholarship Ball,” and will allow attendees to enjoy the program safely and socially distanced in their cars.

The Ball will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Parking Lot L4, which is adjacent to the Ira A. and Mary Lou Fulton Library. The expected cost of admission is $250.

Ashton Stitt, senior director of executive events, said that the Scholarship Ball has been a priority for the university, given the number of students who rely on the funds raised during the event.

“Early in the spring when everyone went into quarantine, I pulled my team in and said we need to have some backup plans,” said Stitt. “It was brought up that we wouldn’t be able to fund scholarships (without the Ball), and to me, that didn’t sit right.”

In a normal year, Stitt said, the organizers would have converted the UCCU Center on campus into something more upscale and fashionable, but they have had to go with what they have. Christie Denniston, who works in marketing and public relations for institutional advancement, said guests can still expect to get their money’s worth out of the evening. There will still be a multi-course meal served carside to guests — customized specifically to meet all health and safety protocols — and the program will be filled by student performers.

In addition to the usual festivities, this year’s event will highlight and pay tribute to Bill Anderson — founder of both the UVU Foundation and the Presidential Scholarship Fund — who passed away in December of last year.

“One of the things I’m impressed with at UVU is that we never stop learning,” said Denniston. “This is a real opportunity for faculty, staff, students and alumni to support current students.”

More information and tickets can be found by visiting www.uvu.edu/advancement/events.

(Photo courtesy of Ashton Stitt, UVU Executive Events)

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