Starting in fall 2013,
children of clergy and religious educators of any faith will be eligible for a
four-year full tuition scholarship to the College of Charleston, thanks to a $1
million pledge from Samuel R. and Regina K. Shapiro.
The scholarship will
provide access to in-state and out-of-state students for whom a College of
Charleston education would not otherwise be financially possible. The Shapiros
have also pledged $1 million to support the College's Jewish student life
"The Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program is the hub of Jewish
student life at the College of Charleston," said President George Benson. "This
generous gift from the Sam and Gina Shapiro will allow us to further expand the
program and make it more accessible to greater numbers of students."
Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program at the College of Charleston serves
thousands of students each year through a rich and diverse range of social and
educational activities related to Jewish culture, Israel, and social justice.
The Shapiros, of Atlanta, GA, wanted to ensure a critical component of the
program – Jewish student life - continues to flourish. Their $1 million gift
will create an endowment to support Wednesday night meet-to-eat dinners
andShabbat dinners, which are attended by well over one hundred students each
week. The gift will also expand vital student community outreach and volunteer
projects such as Alternative Spring Breaks, outreach to less privileged youth in
Charleston, and student trips to Israel.
"Students shape their week
around student life activities like our Wednesday night meet-to-eat and Shabbat
dinners," says Mimi Lewis, Jewish Student Life Coordinator. "They know they have
a place to go to connect with friends, connect with staff, and be a part of the
greater Charleston community. These are deeply meaningful Jewish experiences to
a large number of young people who are at a critical stage in framing their
One of the many inspirations for the establishment of the
Samuel R. and Regina K. Shapiro Endowment Scholarship occurred when Gina Shapiro
met a dynamic high school junior who was the daughter of a clergyman. She shared
with Shapiro that the College of Charleston would not be possible for her
without scholarship support. The Shapiros knew there were so many students like
her across the Southeast, whose financial ability to pay for college was
compromised by their parents' commitment to religious education.
Shapiros are long-time and loyal supporters of the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies
Program at the College of Charleston. Both Sam and Gina have served on the
Program's Advisory Board and Gina's late parents endowed the Milton and Freddie
Kronsberg Lecture Series at Jewish Studies, the first named programmatic gift to
the Jewish Studies Program.
"The Jewish Studies Program has been
important to our family for a long time and we are happy to support an
initiative at the College that has impacted so many young people and community
members over the years," says Gina Shapiro. "Sam and I are also grateful to
President Benson for enlightening us about the College's greatest need –
scholarship support – and how scholarships provide life-changing access to a
College of Charleston education."