Empowering Futures: A Story Behind Every Scholarship

The Legacy Foundation last year awarded over $200,000 in scholarships to both new and returning undergraduate and graduate students. Generous alumni, individuals, families, companies and organizations support these scholarships and make it possible to honor PU’s legacy of leadership, scholarship and service. Since its beginning, the Legacy Foundation has awarded more than $3 million to over 300 students pursuing their education and their goal of becoming leaders who will transform the world.

Even more significant than the scholarships or programs themselves are the incredible students who make up the Legacy Scholars community as we approach the Legacy Foundation’s 25th year of the program we wanted to visit with some of these past legacy scholar recipients to hear in their own words about their journeys, the program and what they would share with current Legacy Scholars.

What did receiving the Legacy Scholars scholarship mean to you?

"The Legacy Scholars scholarship illuminated my path. It wasn’t just financial aid; it was a beacon of opportunity. It meant pursuing my education without compromising my dreams. It meant late nights studying, early mornings volunteering, and weekends building community. It meant honoring the legacy of all those who paved the way. Most importantly, it meant that my potential was limitless."

"Receiving the Legacy Scholars scholarship felt like a lifeline. As a first-generation college student, I faced uncertainty. But the scholarship provided stability—the assurance that my hard work mattered. It meant textbooks, lab fees, and a laptop. It transformed my college experience from surviving to thriving."

"The Legacy Scholars scholarship came with a promise: to pay it forward. It meant vowing that someday, when I stood on the other side—successful, empowered—I would help others. It meant understanding that legacy isn’t about what we accumulate but about what we leave behind. The scholarship ignited in me a fire of gratitude and responsibility."

What did you gain by being part of the Legacy Scholars cohort and attending the Leadership Conferences?

"The Legacy Scholars cohort provided a supportive community. At Leadership Conferences, I connected with fellow scholars from different backgrounds, majors, and interests. The conferences were a place to come together, learn, grow and connect. These connections became lifelong friendships!"

"Leadership Conferences ignited my passions. Hearing accomplished leaders share their journeys, challenges, and triumphs inspired me. These conferences fueled my determination to make a difference. The Legacy Scholars program didn’t just provide financial support; it ignited a fire within me to lead purposefully."

"Being part of the Legacy Scholars cohort meant inheriting a legacy. Attending Leadership Conferences reinforced this responsibility. I realized that my actions—both big and small—contributed to a collective legacy, and I understood that my impact mattered. The Legacy Scholars program instilled a sense of purpose—to leave a positive mark on the world."

How did the Legacy Scholar Program help you achieve the goals you made in college?

"The scholarship itself significantly eased the financial burden of college. This allowed me to focus on my studies without worrying about tuition costs. The program’s emphasis on academic success and accountability motivated me to maintain high grades and keep my eyes on graduation."

"The Legacy Scholar Program exposed me to valuable leadership opportunities which not only enhanced my leadership skills but also expanded my community. Connecting with fellow scholars and building friendships enriched my college journey for the better!"

"Beyond academics, the Legacy Scholar Program helped me develop as a person not just a student. The program encouraged me to dream big, set ambitious goals, and persevere. As a result, I not only achieved my college goals but also emerged as a more resilient, empowered individual ready to tackle life beyond graduation."

What was the best part of your Volunteer Leadership Project experience?

"The most rewarding part of my Volunteer Leadership Project was witnessing the direct impact of our efforts. As a leader, I collaborated with others I had never met before in my community and learned so much more about the issue than I had ever known before. Knowing that our work made a difference was incredibly empowering. It reinforced my belief in collective action and community-driven change."

"Engaging in a leadership role allowed me to hone my leadership skills and think about how I could make a lasting impact on my community. From project planning and delegation to conflict resolution and communication, I learned and applied these skills throughout the project. It challenged me to step out of my comfort zone, adapt to unforeseen situations, and develop resilience."

"Knowing that our project left a positive mark on the community was the best feeling. We didn’t just complete tasks; we planted seeds for long-term change."

"Witnessing team members grow and thrive was incredibly fulfilling. As a leader, I encouraged their ideas, provided guidance, and celebrated their achievements. My experiences reinforced the transformative power of leadership. Their success became my success, and reminded me that everything is better when we come together as a team."

What wisdom or advice would you like to share the recipients of this year’s scholarships?

"Seek guidance from other Legacy Scholars or alumni who have navigated similar paths. Their insights can be invaluable. Whether it’s academic advice, career planning, or personal growth, don’t hesitate to reach out!"

"Don’t fear failure; embrace it. Every setback is an opportunity to learn and grow. Whether it’s a challenging course, a rejected application, or a missed opportunity, resilience matters."

"Your legacy isn’t solely defined by GPA. It’s about leaving a positive mark on campus and beyond. Advocate for causes you believe in, uplift your fellow students, and contribute to the campus and beyond!"