When I applied to college, I selected an essay topic that asked "Who has influenced you the most in your life?" The answer was my father.
My father was a gentle, caring, and above all, selfless individual. All his life, he worked tirelessly only to better the quality of life for his family. In short, my father was the soul of our family.
When he was diagnosed with cancer, his life and his actions were never defined by his illness. He suffered tremendously throughout the course of the disease; and yet, his spirit would not be defeated. He was the embodiment of hope.
My father always knew the value of a college education and sought to ensure that his children would receive what he did not. Of all places, Illinois Wesleyan is where he wanted me to receive my education. On the day my family and I visited campus, he felt the sense of community and care Illinois Wesleyan would provide and the growth it would instill in his child. At the time, he and I both knew this was where I should attend for the next four years. It is only with your contributions when I graduate in the following year that I am able to honor and fulfill his wish. For that, I am truly thankful.
Thank you so much for your support these past years and your continuing support. You have brought peace when it was needed most. My family and I are truly grateful for your generosity and commitment.