$31,000 Raised for Scholarships

Auction Brings World of Opportunities to Graceland Students | April 24, 2013

On April 18, two Graceland schools came together for a worthy cause: scholarships.

The Edmund J. Gleazer School of Education and C.H. Sandage School of Business sponsored the Third Annual Scholarship Auction on Graceland’s Independence campus. The night’s events included hors d’oeuvres and silent and live auctions. The night began with Kelly Everett, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, bringing the crowd together.

“The goal of tonight is to fund scholarships that will help young people attend Graceland and stay at Graceland,” said Kelly.

Auction proceeds are split between the schools to fund special scholarships, named for Helen Bruch Pearson Smith (Education) and Robert Page Bruch (Agricultural Business.) Most auction items were donated by local business and individuals.

The night proceeded with a silent auction, where attendees bid on items like Kansas City Royals tickets and designer cakes. As the silent auction concluded, attendees moved to Carmichael Auditorium, where Graceland University President John Sellars expressed thanks for the community’s generosity.

Tammy Everett, Dean of the Edmund J. Gleazer School of Education, took the podium next to speak about Helen Bruch Pearson Smith, the namesake for this year’s Education scholarships. Helen is a member of Graceland’s Board of Trustees and has devoted her life to education, teaching in higher education for 23 years before her retirement. Though Helen was unable to attend the night’s events due to a spinal surgery, she sent a statement calling education her “North Star” and noting, “A world of opportunity was opened for me throughout my life as an educator, so to have an education scholarship honoring me is deeply moving.”

Steve Anders, Dean of the C.H. Sandage School of Business, spoke next, honoring the late Robert Page Bruch, the namesake of this year’s Agricultural Business scholarships. Robert initiated and taught the Agricultural Business curriculum at Graceland in the 1980s.

“Bob was a very, very good friend, a solid individual and a mentor in many ways. It’s appropriate that we honor him tonight with a scholarship in his name for our Agricultural Business students.”

After words from William “Bill” Bruch, Robert’s twin, and Ronald G. Bruch, Helen and Bob’s brother, the night’s auctioneer, former Congressman Leonard Boswell, began the live auction. The night’s top items included a weekend long duck hunt, that went for $1,100 and a six-night stay at the Lake of the Ozarks for $800. Other hot items included a Myrna Morris watercolor of the Graceland campus, beef donated by Thomas Farms and a children’s John Deer riding tractor.

By the end of the night, the auction raised over $31,000 for scholarships, including a special $15,000 donation for the Edmund J. Gleazer School of Education and $5,000 donation for the Agricultural Business program.

“We are so appreciative of the generosity of people. The scholarships will make the difference for many of our current and future Agricultural Business students,” said Max Pitt, Assistant Professor of Business.

"This year, we raised triple the scholarship funding of last year," said Tammy Everett. "I believe student lives are transformed by the educational opportunities made possible from these scholarships. I am truly grateful for the generosity displayed for the donations and the bidding that made this year's auction so successful."