The University of La Verne’s annual scholarship gala returned in-person this year, after COVID drove the event online for two years.
The event on Saturday was outdoors on the main campus for the first time.
The gala, a scholarship fundraiser, highlights the individuals and organizations who support the students at the university.
About 600 people attended the event, and student ambassadors were also present to greet and network with donors and attendees.
The event space was transformed into a sea of dark green and orange– the University’s school colors, with the reception starting at 5 p.m. outside of Founders Hall followed by dinner on the lawn outside of the Ludwick Center, where wooden flooring was installed for the occasion.
After the reception, guests crossed the road from Founders Hall to the opposite side where they were seated at their assigned table and enjoyed an opening performance of “Hallelujah” by the University choir.
President Devorah Lieberman welcomed guests at the start of the dinner portion of the evening.
Lieberman thanked the guests, gala committee members, faculty and students for attending.
She shared an inspiring story of senior business administration major and first generation student Ian Mendoza who is one of the many recipients of scholarships funded by donations.
Mendoza was brought up to the stage along with his parents and brother, professors, and fraternity brothers.
“Ian and his champions represent all of the University of La Verne students,” Lieberman said. “Our students come from various backgrounds and circumstances but they have the common goal of gaining a quality education, having successful careers and positively impacting their communities.”
Lieberman continued her speech by sharing that 98% of students at the University of La Verne need and receive financial aid.
She added that the school awarded $55 million to students from the budget this year.
The so-called auction portion of the night saw attendees raising their paddles to donate amounts from $100 to $30,000 that will go towards the final calculated number.
After dinner, the president reported that White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles will donate $720,000 in scholarships to the new nursing program launching at the new College of Health and Community Well-Being with a fall 2022 start date.
At the end of the night, it was announced that the University of La Verne had raised $1.1 million dollars in support of student scholarships.
The record-setting number makes this year’s gala the most successful fundraising event in the history of the university.
Hien Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.