Cynthia J. Aldrich (C.J.) of The Villages in central Florida has endowed two scholarships at Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH). Aldrich, originally from Gainesville, Missouri, has designated these scholarships for women and for veterans. The scholarship for veterans, endowed at more than $100,000, is for current or former members of the armed services. The women’s scholarship was endowed at more than $200,000.
About the gifts, Aldrich said, “When it was time for me to go to college, there weren’t scholarships available for me so my parents had to take out loans to help me attend school. I want students who have financial needs to have a resource available to help them.”
Aldrich, who lived and worked in Saudi Arabia during the Desert Storm conflict, has had a heart for helping veterans all of her life. “When I lived in Saudi Arabia, I spent time with the troops and took food to them at their base. When I was young, I lived in Dubai with my parents. My dad worked in Dubai and the Navy would dock their ships there. We would spend time with the troops feeding and entertaining them and would go on their ships. I love being able to help students because of what I went through and what I have experienced in my life. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I did when college seemed out of reach for me financially.”
Mollie Morgan, ASUMH’s Development Officer, said Aldrich is a true inspiration. “When I first met C.J. I didn’t realize what an inspiration she would become for me. She is very adventurous and tries hobbies that I didn’t even know existed. While she has created a fulfilling retirement life, she hasn’t forgotten where she came from and wants to help females and veterans live out their dreams.”
“We are delighted that C.J. Aldrich has decided to support deserving students in this region through this generous donation. She overcame hardships of financing her college education and has stated that she doesn’t want to see other students struggle to achieve their educational goals. We are grateful for her generosity and support of ASUMH’s students,” added Dr. Robin Myers, Chancellor of ASUMH.
For more information on scholarships at ASUMH or donating to support students, contact Mollie Morgan at 870-508-6191.
Photo (left to right): Mollie Morgan, C.J. Aldrich, Robin Myers