“Overjoyed” and “forever grateful” for opportunities scholarships create

One of the highlights of the recent dinner to mark the 40th anniversary of coeducation were speeches by two current women student leaders who took the opportunity to say “thank you” for the scholarships which have helped them to be at St Mark’s.

The College Club President, Ms Caitlin Glascott, spoke of flourishing in College, and said that she and Senior Residential Advisor Isabel Unwin “are fortunate enough to be recipients of generous scholarships, without which we wouldn’t be standing here”.

Isabel Unwin – the holder in 2021 and 2022 of the Women of St Mark’s Scholarship – thanked “everyone who has made this scholarship possible, for enabling young women to take up the opportunity to be at St Mark’s (and to stay for much longer than the one year I originally intended)”.

She especially thanked Clare Thompson SC, “who is responsible for the seed funding of the Women of St Mark’s Scholarship, 10 years ago at the 30th anniversary of coeducation. Ms Thompson is an outstanding lawyer, and advocate for others, particularly in enabling access to education opportunities”. (The photo above is of Isabel Unwin, Clare Thompson SC, and Caitlin Glascott at the 40th anniversary dinner.)

These inspiring speeches are just one of the ways in which scholarship holders have been expressing their gratitude for scholarships which enable them to benefit from being at St Mark’s this year. Over recent months, dozens of students have written letters of thanks to the donors of scholarships or to the College Board.

In many cases, because of the financial circumstances of their families, students have only been able to be at St Mark’s because of scholarships. Students’ letters reflect their deep gratitude for this life-changing help.

“Overjoyed” and “forever grateful” are just two of their heart-felt expressions of appreciation.

Almost all scholarships are made possible through generous donations from alumni and friends of the College who, having seen the positive impact the College can have for students, have given generously to provide this opportunity to current and future students.

One of the top priorities in the College’s new strategic plan is “working to support all students who need it through a major expansion of scholarships and other financial support for students”.

If you would like to help change the lives of current or future students at St Mark’s, please give now through clicking here.

These extracts come from just some of the many letters of thanks which students have been writing:

“Without this scholarship, I would have never been able to live in a place as unique as St Mark’s College. This opportunity is one I will be forever grateful for. There is a fantastic feeling I get from living here, and it is one I will always feel stepping through those front gates. The connection I have to St Mark’s College is one I know will last a lifetime, alongside the friendships that I am a part of.”

“I am honoured to be awarded this scholarship as I value what St Mark’s stands for. St Mark’s drives and motivates its students to be of help and of service to not only their community but those in need, truly a quality I respect and hope to demonstrate more of in future years.”

“Thank you again for affording me the opportunity to live at St Mark’s College and for your investment in students like myself. One day, I hope to be able to provide a student the same opportunity to live at St Mark’s College whilst attending university and completing their studies. I greatly appreciate your support and thank you for making this possible.”

“[Our crop] has been severely impacted by hail and frost in recent years, leaving most of [it] unsuitable for harvest. Thus, my family have encountered significant financial struggle which this scholarship will help alleviate. Without financial support like this, it would have been remarkably difficult to attend college and stay afloat as a family.”

“I am overjoyed that another year at the College has been made possible due to the generous scholarship. Without the help of a scholarship, it would not be possible for me to attend St Mark’s College. My parents live [interstate], and I am the first person in my family who has had the privilege of attending a college. I know that my parents are extremely happy to have me at the College because they have seen me become happier and more confident…”

“Receiving support from St Mark‘s means a great deal, allowing me to pursue my dream career as a doctor with confidence. Since arriving here, St Mark’s has already [become] a home away from home. From staff to students and everyone in-between, I could not imagine a life without St Marks, especially after arriving in a state I have never visited before.”

“I am extremely appreciative of this scholarship as it not only lightens the financial burden on my family and me, but allows me to spend more time making the most of the opportunities St Mark’s and university has to offer whilst dedicating more time towards my studies rather than worrying about finances. I hope that one day in the future I will have the opportunity to pass on the same support and kindness you have shown me to other students living at St Mark’s, helping them to thrive just as I have.”

“Unfortunately, life on the land can be quite challenging with the weather extremes and after losing a lot of our crop in 2019, we once again faced this devastation in 2021, meaning one of our main sources of income was affected. This scholarship has enabled me to lift some pressure and provide a sense of comfort for my parents when we are faced with these sudden circumstances. It has allowed me to remain at College once again in 2022, which I am extremely grateful for.”

“I have made a lot of sacrifices to ensure I would be able to afford my time at college and this scholarship will allow me to engage in all different experiences that I may not have had the chance to [otherwise].”

“Being granted a scholarship by St Mark’s … is now a defining event of my early adulthood and has already made a sizeable impact to my sense of adult independence and responsibility.”

“I am very excited to be spending another year at St Mark’s College, as last year was so full of amazing opportunities provided by the College, as well as the remarkable people that also call St Mark’s College home. Moving away from my hometown, across states, all whilst starting University for the first time, is awfully daunting. However, starting my new life at St Mark’s College made all the difficulties disappear as I was welcomed with open arms, into a very caring environment. My new home will always hold a special place in my heart.”

“St Mark’s College has taught me many things over the last two years and helped me grow into a resilient and hard-working young woman. I am extremely lucky that I have the financial support from such a generous group of people that will make my third year at St Mark’s one I will never forget.”

“Growing up, I often found it difficult to find a place where I truly fit in at school, often feeling quite outcasted and alone. Attending St Mark’s last year provided me with a fresh start that truly changed my life for the better. The people at this college are some of the most kind, wonderful and caring people I have met, who constantly make me feel like I truly belong. I’ve met so many people who I’m sure will be lifelong friends, and some I even consider family. The college community will always hold a very special place in my heart, so I am so thankful to be able to continue my journey there again this year.”

“To me, our college is a place where students get the unique opportunity to tackle all the challenges of being young adults within the safety of a supportive community. I am thankful to have the opportunity this year to give back to a community who has helped me safely grow into the young woman I am today. Without such financial assistance, I would not have been able to afford my attendance here for three years. Again, thank you to you and the Board for providing the opportunity for scholarships at our college – please know the work you do has a significant positive impact for our student body.”

“Considering my family is from a rural farming background in the Southeast of South Australia, income can be quite variable due to many uncontrollable seasonal factors such as weather. Through the generosity of the scholarship to contribute towards my college fees, my family will feel less of a financial burden in times of need.”

“Coming from a small country town and moving far from home, my family has never been able to travel to Adelaide much and to be able to live here is something I’m more than grateful for. The generosity of your scholarship has helped my family immensely, as returning for a second year of college was not something I had imagined could happen. Both myself and my mother contribute to my college fees, but unfortunately due to being a single mother, with two other children to provide for, her contribution is minimal. To receive this scholarship has lifted a weight off both myself and my mother’s shoulders, and we are both so grateful.”

“Without your help my family would have struggled to send me to Mark’s for another year.”

Being at St Mark’s College is a truly once in a lifetime opportunity and over the previous year as an undergraduate student I was in perpetual awe of the various possibilities given to us as Collegians to thrive in the different aspects of college and wider community life, be it sporting, musical or spiritual. These years are some which I truly cherish, and I know they will remain fond memories in the years to come. Receiving this scholarship means that I will be able to continue with my studies at the University of Adelaide and brings reassurance that I will be able to continue to fund my place at St Mark’s. Again, I would like to thank you and the College for your generosity.”

“Without this scholarship I would not have been able to afford to come to St Mark’s.”

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