March 18, 2019

The Gift of Success

Three high-achieving BU student-athletes recently demonstrated just how impactful scholarships can be by combining the support they received from donors with the grit and determination it takes to accomplish success at the highest levels of their respective sports.

Junior Willy Girard (Williamstown, Pa./Williams Valley), recipient of the T & C Wagner Wrestling Endowment Scholarship, recently became the Bloomsburg University wrestling team's first Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) Champion since 2014. Girard, a 125-pounder will now take a 23-11 overall record into the NCAA tournament which will be held at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh from March 21 to March 23.

Also in March 2019, senior Kirsten O'Malley (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville Area), recipient of the Dorothy Q. and Lloyd S. Wartman Scholarship, finished 17th in the country in the women's triple jump at the 2019 NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Championships.

In December, 2018,  senior women's cross country runner Morgan Ilgenfritz (Loysville, Pa./Boiling Springs), recipient of the Paul and Jennefer Clifford Walk-on Scholarship, concluded her collegiate career with a 92nd place finish at the 2018 NCAA Division II National Championships. In February, 2019, Ilgenfritz was also named to the Division II Cross Country All-Academic Team.

Each of these remarkable student-athletes has put in the work and fought to attain their goals, and they all place a great deal of weight on their scholarships as being substantial motivating factors in helping them to achieve that success.

Willy Girard '20

“Receiving this scholarship has meant so much to me, both financially and mentally,” says Girard. I was close to making it this far last year, but I just don’t think at the time I was mentally tough enough. But the confidence of knowing this scholarship was there for me, really helped me to focus more and reach my goal.”

Kirsten O'Malley '19

“When I learned I was awarded this scholarship, I was ecstatic,” O’Malley says. “It was an enormous help in my academic and my athletic journey here at Bloomsburg."

Morgan Ilgenfritz '19

“This scholarship has meant so much to me,” says Ilgenfritz. “I didn’t even really know if I would be running track and field when I first came to Bloomsburg, but once I decided I was, I put in a lot of work over the last four years. To see that hard work pay off and to know that someone believed in me, made me want to work even harder.”

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 271 BU student-athletes received scholarships thanks to the generosity of donors who support BU athletics. Willy, Kirsten and Morgan’s recent accomplishments are just a few examples of how that support can make a difference in helping Huskies achieve greatness.

“Support from donors to BU athletics impacts the Bloomsburg University community by helping us to recruit top-rated athletes, increase retention rates, show our student-athletes and alumni that we are committed to excellence in our athletics programs,” says BU Director of Athletics, Dr. Michael McFarland. “But most importantly, those gifts show student-athletes like Kirsten, Morgan and Willy, they have a strong community of supporters who believe in them by helping them to achieve their dreams.”

To make a gift today or learn more about how you can help to support BU student-athletes, click here.

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