"Your gifts are needed now more than ever," keynote speaker Walter Todd told scholarship donors at this year's Eleanor Shiflet Teal Scholarship Banquet, held Oct. 26 at Lander University.
Todd, president and chief investment officer for Greenwood Capital, which sponsored the event, said that college tuition in the U.S. has grown at a rate of nearly 200 percent over the past 20 years - almost four times the overall rate of inflation over the same period of time.
Because of student debt which has ballooned from $225 million in 2003 to $1.3 trillion today, many young people are being forced to delay starting their own households, which impacts the economy as a whole, he said.
Lander "represents a tremendous value for students," but the average student still experiences a $4,000 annual shortfall. "There's still a need for giving," Todd said.
Lander President Richard Cosentino also spoke during the banquet, which provides an opportunity for scholarship recipients to meet and thank those who made their education possible. Cosentino said that Lander continues to climb in the annual ranking of schools by U.S. News and World Report and Schools.com. Applications are up 87 percent over last year and Lander has the largest freshman class in its history.
Cosentino said that Lander has had "an amazing year," and A.R. Charnes, president of the Lander Foundation Board of Directors, concurred.
"It's a great time here at Lander University. We're growing while many colleges and universities are fighting to stay relevant. We have an enthusiastic faculty and staff, and we have a bright young leader in Dr. Cosentino. For us to continue being competitive in the marketplace and attract more of these bright students, we need your help. Please continue to support our scholarship funding and consider increasing your giving to the university," Charnes said.