Scholarships often bear someone’s name. More unusual is when that name belongs to a four-legged family member.
Such was the case when Stephen and Karen Clegg founded a Metropolitan Community College scholarship more than 10 years ago. As the MCC Foundation’s Jessica Ramirez tells it, after the Cleggs lost their beloved bichon frise Auriel, they reached out to thank the compassionate veterinary technician who’d shown the pooch exceptional care. But they wanted to do more.
They’d asked that vet tech where she received her training. Yes, at MCC’s vet tech program on the Maple Woods campus.
The first Auriel Clegg Vet Tech Scholarship was awarded through the MCC Foundation in 2008-09. The amount of the scholarship varies. Up to two students receive the scholarship each year.
The Cleggs are hands-on donors whose support for MCC vet tech students has been “outstanding,” says Chris Morrow, vet tech program coordinator.
“Each spring they come back to Kansas City from their home in Florida to personally interview the students who have applied for their scholarship,” Morrow says. “The Cleggs show such tremendous interest in our students that all the students enjoy the interviews even if they don’t receive the award.”
Several recipients have told Morrow that the Auriel Clegg scholarship was a “key part of their success” in the vet tech program.
The MCC Foundation honored the Cleggs at its 2019 Gratitude Reception, held April 11 at the Kansas City home of Jason and Tennille Adkins. He is president of Unite Private Networks, another MCC Foundation donor.
Karen Clegg was presented with the Foundation’s Vision Award.
About 75 guests attended, including more than 20 current and former MCC students, some of them recipients of the Auriel Clegg scholarship and other Foundation scholarships. Ten vet tech student volunteers assisted at the reception.
Some scenes from the Gratitude Reception:
In this video, MCC vet tech alum Meagan Parks talks about the program, her career at a Kansas City animal hospital, and how the Auriel Clegg Vet Tech Scholarship helped her. The video was shown at the Gratitude Reception.