For many New Zealanders, a university education is a “given”. But for many other aspiring young students it feels like an impossible dream. This is the challenge that the new Ralph and Eve Seelye Charitable Trust Undergraduate Scholarships are designed to overcome.
At the University of Auckland, we know that the country’s youth, and the nation’s future, are empowered through education. Yet many current and prospective students face serious challenges in financing their education. In every faculty of New Zealand universities, sections of the population are under represented. In Auckland, the demographic projections alone make it imperative that more students from disadvantaged or under-represented communities gain access to higher education.
The New Zealand of the 21st century needs to create greater ease of access to higher learning – and the jobs and careers that flow from there – for those who currently feel excluded from tertiary education and qualifications.
The new Ralph and Eve Seelye Charitable Trust Undergraduate Scholarships are designed to assist school leavers, who have the potential and desire to succeed at University but who, because of financial hardship, might not be able to realise their dreams. With generous funding for 10 scholarships at up to $5,000 each year, the impact on the lives of the student recipients and their families is incredible.
These short extracts from student letters of thanks echo Ralph and Eve Seelye’s values of humanity and generosity. Ralph and Eve Seelye realised their dreams and now they are helping many young students do the same. On behalf of the University of Auckland, we thank the trustees of the Ralph and Eve Seelye Charitable Trust, but we couldn’t express our thanks better than those whose lives are changed forever:
“I have always been striving to reach high and dream big.”
“At the risk of coming across as cheesy: you have just changed my life.“
“It was an unbelievably emotional moment for me when I discovered that I was a successful recipient of the Ralph and Eve Seelye Undergraduate Scholarship at the University of Auckland for this year. I wish to convey to you my most sincere gratitude and appreciation; firstly for your belief in me, and secondly for your very generous financial support towards my tertiary education. As I expressed in my application, my family and I have always believed that the best investment we can make is in education. I am extremely fortunate to have crossed paths with someone like you who shares that same belief, because without your help, I would not have been able to attend university with the peace of mind that I now have. Thank you for your investment in me.“
“The words in this letter simply cannot fully express how thankful I am to receive this scholarship and opportunity. I hope to get a chance to thank you properly, face-to-face (and give you a big hug) to express the gratitude from my family and me. Once again, it cannot be said enough, thank you.”
“With an annual donation of $5,000 for the duration of my undergraduate Biomedical degree, my career prospects of becoming a neurologist become more concrete.”
“You have given me the opportunity to give back to my community and to the community of science from your generous donation. So once more, I would like to just say thank you—not just from me, not just from my family, but also from all the students and their families whose lives you've significantly changed for the better. Know that all our successes are your successes also.”
“With your trust, I promise that I will be consistent, committed and hardworking throughout University. Know that I am forever indebted to you and I hope that one day I will also be able to give back to the community with the education and skills I will attain. Again, thank you for this scholarship and I promise that I will not let you down.”