Each year $2.7 million in scholarships are award to ETSU students, and 25 percent of that money comes from donations, according to a flyer from the office of advancement. Some of those donors were recently recognized during the Distinguished President’s Trust dinner.

The event was held April 13 at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport, and it recognized some of the newest Distinguished President’s Trust members as well as those who continue to give to ETSU.

“We just want to recognize the people that are so loyal to this university,” said Pamela Ritter, Vice President for University Advancement.

The Distinguished President’s Trust honors those who give annually to ETSU. There are multiple donor levels, and they are based on cumulative giving. As donors give more to ETSU, they are given further recognition.

The new inductees to the trust are recognized after giving $10,000 or more to ETSU. This year, 20 new members were added to the Distinguished President’s Trust.

“Donors give to a variety of areas,” Ritter said. “So they may give to a scholarship, faculty support, program support, facilities, and the students all benefit from that.”

The dinner allowed members of the ETSU community, particularly students, to show the donors what their funding supports.

“At the event Friday night, we highlighted many of our students and a couple of alumni also that had personally benefited from [donations,]” she said. “That’s why the students should care, because hopefully they someday will be able to give back and do the same thing that these people are doing.”

The majority of presenters during the dinner were students, including Keyana Miller, Destiny Saunders-Simon, Devon Waldroff, Hunter Hess, Alexandria Wells, Morgan Munsey, Ives J. Orozco-Orporto, Dustin Gilmer and Tiffani Carrasco. Harmonium, Yi-Yang Chen, the ETSU Jazz Collective and the ETSU Piano Quintet provided musical entertainment.

ETSU alumnus Dr. Joseph Ibrahim spoke during the event about how his training at ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine prepared him when he was he was an emergency room physician during the Orlando, Florida, nightclub shooting in 2016.

Ritter said the goal of the university is to continue to grow the number of financial donations to help students with scholarships and their experience at ETSU so they can reach their potential.

“In this day and age, there’s so much debt with universities,” she said. “The more scholarships we get and the more faculty support we get, the easier it is for our students as they graduate.”