$1 million scholarship established by Wayne State and Corvias

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Maria Montalvo, Corvias Foundation executive director, is flanked by Wayne State University students Sierra Bentley (left) and Kamau Clark. Bentley and Clark are the inaugural recipients of the new Corvias Endowed Scholarship at Wayne State University.

Wayne State University and Corvias have announced the first two recipients of a new $1 million Corvias Endowed Scholarship at Wayne State University. Both Corvias and Wayne State are committed to promoting affordability for new students pursuing higher education. In keeping with Corvias Foundation’s commitment to providing “beyond the dollar” support, the scholarship also includes opportunities for mentoring, internships and a significant network throughout students’ college careers.

This endowed fund demonstrates the benefits of a well-executed, 40-year partnership between Wayne State and Corvias to develop, finance, construct, operate and maintain the university’s student housing. Wayne State worked with Corvias Foundation to create a scholarship tailored to students who pursue an education despite economic challenges, to be awarded during the first two years of school, statistically the period when the majority of students drop out. The Corvias Scholar Awards will assist freshmen and sophomores in covering tuition, fees, room, board and any other costs associated with attendance.

The two inaugural recipients for the 2018-19 academic year are:

Sierra Bentley, majoring in astronomy from Saint Clair Shores, northeast of the metro Detroit area. Bentley volunteered as a peer educator at a local community outreach organization called Alternatives for Girls (sometimes up to 40 hours per week). She also worked as a retail cashier during high school and served as a student member of the Detroit City Council from 2016-17 and as an IT intern for the Detroit Tigers during summer 2017. Bentley logged more than 360 volunteer hours while in high school.

Kamau Clark, majoring in political science from Detroit. Clark continues to work at least 20 hours a week while attending classes. He provides mentoring and tutoring services to freshmen students and strives to actively serve Detroit residents through leadership or volunteering. As a member of the WSU Brotherhood, he assists minority males with building academic, personal and professional relationships through brotherhood, mentoring and empowerment. Clark was involved in a syllabus semester planning session for students, as well as organizing a game night and educational forums.

The first recipients were awarded scholarships on September 25 at Wayne State’s Tierney Alumni House during a luncheon that included Provost Keith Whitfield; Dawn Medley, associate vice president for enrollment management; Cathy Kay, director of financial aid; Bill Decatur, CFO; Corvias Principal Michael De La Rosa; and Maria Montalvo, Corvias Foundation executive director.

“Because of the partnership between WSU and Corvias, this endowed scholarship will allow generations of students to persist and be successful at Wayne State,” said Tim Michael, associate vice president for student auxiliary services and chief housing officer. “It is humbling to be part of creating such a great and timeless positive support for students.”  

Corvias has pledged a direct donation of $500,000, to be paid over 10 years, to fund the endowed Corvias Scholars Awards at Wayne State University. In addition, the other $500,000 will be paid through 10 annual installments generated from the housing partnership.  

The annual Corvias Scholar Award will be among one of the largest dollar-value awards to incoming students at Wayne State University.

“Corvias, through its philanthropic arm, Corvias Foundation, is committed to providing Corvias Scholar Awards that are truly transformational and allow students to reach higher when contemplating the future,” Montalvo said. “Providing the Corvias Scholars Awards to freshmen with the possible continuation on to their sophomore year will offer further support in their most vulnerable time of not persisting.”

Each year a Corvias Scholar Award in the amount of $12,500 will be awarded to one freshman student in good standing to be used for tuition, fees and on-campus room and board, at the student’s discretion. The Corvias Scholar Award may be renewed for the sophomore year if the student continues to meet the scholarship eligibility criteria:

  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student, reside in on-campus housing and demonstrate financial need.
  • Must achieve and maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA each year.
  • May use the award for tuition, fees, room and/or board in on-campus housing.  
  • Remaining funds, approximately $25,000 per year, will be used for Corvias scholarships of various amounts to support Wayne State students in good standing who demonstrate financial need to pay the room and board costs of living in on-campus housing.

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