University, Students Celebrate State Farm Scholarship Support
Feb. 15, 2018
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Many of the 100 students currently attending Illinois Wesleyan
University with scholarship support from the State Farm Companies Foundation were
able to meet and thank their benefactors on Feb. 14.
Representatives from State Farm joined student scholarship recipients at an annual
luncheon celebrating the long-standing ties between State Farm and Illinois Wesleyan.
IWU President Eric Jensen noted the appropriateness of celebrating the collaboration
between two institutions that are integral to the tapestry of the local community.
"We are, like State Farm is, part of what makes Bloomington-Normal special," he said.
"It's hard to overstate how hugely important to Illinois Wesleyan that State Farm
has been over the years. Not just in terms of buildings like State Farm Hall, but
in terms of the people with name tags around this room, with numbers on them that
signify alumni status" – acknowledging the many IWU alumni employed at State Farm
attending the event.
Maddie Williams, a junior majoring in business - marketing, spoke on behalf of the
State Farm Scholars in expressing gratitude.
"I truly, from the bottom of my heart, believe that this University is the best place
to be, and it absolutely would not be possible without our State Farm family," she
Williams relayed her personal story of transferring to Illinois Wesleyan University
from a school where she was continually unhappy. She was able to forego an athletic
scholarship and afford to come to IWU, thanks in part to the State Farm scholarship.
Delighted at her experience after coming to Illinois Wesleyan, "I expressed my feelings
through social media, obviously, because that’s what people my age do, and I tweeted
'Since coming to IWU, I have not had a single bad day,'" Williams said. "I had so
many people from Illinois Wesleyan reach out to me, and the circulation of this tweet
was so much bigger than I had imagined. A couple of months later, my tweet had resurfaced
again, and I can tell you that, over one year later, this still rings true."
"Your financial encouragement is what allows us to have an exceptional education,
an exceptional experience, and an exceptional journey with an incredible story to
tell," Williams said. "With this support, we can now go into the world with open arms,
ready to support others just as State Farm has supported all of us."
Scott Callicott, Manager of Enterprise Philanthropy at State Farm, quoted wisdom from
Mark Twain: "The secret to getting ahead is getting started."
"You may not realize it, but you've already taken that first step," Callicott told
the students. "The State Farm Companies Foundation is very pleased to have played
a part in that step. You are preparing to become leaders in a world that has fully
integrated change into its culture.
"We are proud to be able to provide support for the State Farm Scholars program, giving
each one of you the chance to get ahead by getting started. Thank you to our friends
at Illinois Wesleyan for the opportunity to partner with you on building this path
for students today, in the past, and to come."