Retired staff member inspires scholarship giving

Jessica Hirst 15N works with refugees and helps community members who have developmental disabilities. Lurit Bepo 16M volunteers in metro Atlanta health care clinics and leads Emory’s Student National Medical Association. Both received the 2014–15 Emory Alumni Board Leadership Scholarship, an honor that recognizes outstanding student leadership.

The scholarship exists largely due to the efforts of Martha Fagan, who retired in October 2013. As senior director of the Emory Alumni Association, she helped board members establish the scholarship in 2007 to recognize and reward student leadership.

In honor of Fagan’s retirement after 38 years at Emory, colleagues and alumni contributed additional gifts to the fund, celebrating her imprint on the creation and success of the EAB Leadership Scholarship.

“That was really overwhelming,” says Fagan, whose gifts through MyEmory supported the scholarship fund. “This scholarship is one of the things I’m most proud of, and it was a beautiful way to honor my service to Emory.”

As of September 2014, gifts and pledges to the scholarship fund totaled nearly $700,000, and the goal is to increase the fund to $1 million. For Fagan, the students who receive the scholarship epitomize the reason she’s proud the EAB Leadership Scholarship exists.

“With payroll deduction through MyEmory, you can give a little bit a month and get this great feeling,” Fagan says. “You’re giving to an institution that educates amazing students who will go out in the world and do really special things.”