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Niagara University presents several scholarships to theater studies students

by jmaloni
Fri, May 18th 2012 06:00 pm
Caption: Five NU theater studies students received scholarships for their summer study abroad program in London through the Tara Laurie Memorial Scholarship fund and the Rees Charitable Trust. From left, recipients Celine Keefe and Andrew Adolf pose with Janice Laurie and Donald Laurie, fellow recipient Brianna Lanoye, Dr. Sharon Watkinson, chair of the department of theatre and fine arts, and recipients Michael Wachowiak and Keirsten Greifenstein.
Caption: Five NU theater studies students received scholarships for their summer study abroad program in London through the Tara Laurie Memorial Scholarship fund and the Rees Charitable Trust. From left, recipients Celine Keefe and Andrew Adolf pose with Janice Laurie and Donald Laurie, fellow recipient Brianna Lanoye, Dr. Sharon Watkinson, chair of the department of theatre and fine arts, and recipients Michael Wachowiak and Keirsten Greifenstein.

In honor of alumni

Dr. Sharon Watkinson, chair of Niagara University's department of theatre and fine arts, awarded several scholarships this spring to outstanding students in memory of deceased friends of the theater program and in honor of a College of Nursing alumnus with ties to the program.

Fairport's Kerisa Bonville, Class of 2013, a double-major in theater performance and communications studies, has been selected by the faculty of Niagara University's department of theater and fine arts as the fifth recipient of the Julie Burdick Memorial Scholarship for academic year 2012-13. The scholarship is named after NU alumna, Julie Burdick, '03.

Burdick passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 27, 2007, and her parents, Dr. James Burdick and Mrs. Sharon Burdick of East Amherst, established the scholarship as a result of thousands of dollars of contributions made to NU theater in honor of their daughter. Any student selected for this honor must excel in performance or theatrical production and in the classroom, and they must model a Vincentian-like interest in caring for and helping others.

Prior recipients have included Preston Cuer, '09, Jessica Bill, '10, Casey Lynn Moyer, '11, and Jayson D. Clark, '12.

The seventh Tara Laurie Memorial Scholarship was awarded to NU theater performance and English double major Brianna Lanoye, '13, of Getzville, for summer study abroad at London's Anglo-American University. Donald and Janice Laurie established the scholarship in 2005 in memory of their daughter, Tara, a theater performance/hospitality student who passed away unexpectedly in 2004, several months after participating in the London study abroad program. The Laurie family said, "The Tara Laurie Memorial Scholarship is our way of keeping our daughter's song alive and her spirit of joy and love soaring."

Prior recipients have included Sara Kovacsi, '06, Rebecca Spindler, '07, Charles Wahl, '08, Noelle Wright, '09, Sarah Jessie, '10, and Callie Bush, '11.

Four additional study abroad scholarships were awarded for the first time this spring, thanks to the generosity of the Paul J. and Martha Rees Charitable Trust. This scholarship fund was established in honor of College of Nursing alumna Barbara Neubert Pascua, '66, by the Rees family because of their niece's heartfelt appreciation of NU's theater studies program, its administrators and its students. The students receiving the study abroad scholarships for study this summer at London's Anglo-American University include the following theater performance majors: Andrew Adolf, '13, Keirsten Lynne Greifenstein, '13, Celine Keefe, '13, and Michael Wachowiak, '13. Keefe and Wachowiak are also majoring in political science.

The third annual Suzanne P. Jones Scholarship was awarded to double major Keefe, '13, of Williamsville. The scholarship is named in memory of a dear and generous friend of Niagara University Theatre who passed away several years ago.

Prior recipients include: Alicia Ann Burning, '12, and Andrea Gollhardt, '12.

Also, the third annual Douglas E. Towey Memorial Scholarship was awarded to NU theater performance major Preston Williams, '15, of Rabun Gap, Ga. The scholarship was first awarded to an NU theater studies student in 2010 in memory of Helen Towey's beloved husband, Doug, a CBS Sports executive who was also the cherished brother of Brother Augustine Towey, C.M., director emeritus of NU Theatre, and his sisters, Ann and Brenda. This scholarship was created by the Towey family and their friends after Doug passed away in 2009.

Prior recipients include: Alan Trinca, '13, and Andrew Adolf, '13.

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