College awards inaugural Nancy Godwin Baldwin Scholarships

The 2015-16 Nancy Godwin Baldwin Scholarship recipients, from left: Jona Cumani, Katie Craig, Megan Shuford, Katherine Brown, Jessie Schuster, Shelby Benny and Amelia Currin.
The 2015-16 Nancy Godwin Baldwin Scholarship recipients, from left: Jona Cumani, Katie Craig, Megan Shuford, Katherine Brown, Jessie Schuster, Shelby Benny and Amelia Currin.

During Opening Convocation on Wednesday, Sweet Briar College awarded the first Nancy Godwin Baldwin Scholarships to several students. President Phil Stone recognized the recipients during the ceremony; the awards were handed out afterward in the lobby by dean of student life and academic support Kelly Kraft-Meyer.

Baldwin, who passed away Aug. 5, 2013, was a member of the Class of 1957. Her association with the College spanned 54 years, including 22 years in the admissions office, mainly as its director. She also worked in the alumnae office, where she edited the Alumnae Magazine, and assisted in the development office for many years after she retired.

“Nancy had a deep and abiding love for her College and saw Sweet Briar as an ideal place for young women to develop a strong sense of self and to realize their full potential,” Stone said.

“These scholarships recognize students who have made major contributions to the school and community through their leadership and demonstrate academic excellence.”

This year’s recipients are Student Government Association president Katie Craig ’16, acting judicial head and head of ambassadors Katherine Brown ’16, senior class president Megan Shuford ’16, junior class president Jessie Schuster ’17, sophomore class president Jona Cumani ’18, and first-years Amelia Currin and Shelby Benny.

The award is icing on the cake for Schuster, a history and music major with minors in gender studies and medieval and Renaissance studies, who was just glad to be back.

“Being here at Sweet Briar, to walk the campus, talk to my amazing professors and even hang out by the lake with my friends was more than I ever dreamed for,” said the Camp Hill, Pa., native. “This scholarship was unanticipated but greatly appreciated, and to me it symbolizes another year of leadership at Sweet Briar College. I am so thankful to be back at work in this beautiful community.

“Ms. Baldwin sounded to me like an inspiration to those around her, and I continue to hope that through my work here at Sweet Briar I can inspire others.”

Like Schuster, Dothan, Ala., native Benny recognizes the award’s profound significance.

“To me, the Nancy Godwin Baldwin Scholarship represents how powerful the legacy of the Sweet Briar alumnae is and signifies that we, as current students, should strive to achieve such distinction in order to lead the way for the next generation of Sweet Briar women,” she said.

The scholarship fund was established in Baldwin’s name when she died in 2013.