SCMS Alumni Association Donates $10,000 to Scholarship Fund

May 26, 2021, 00:00 AM by SCMS

The Southwest CUNA Management School Alumni Association has donated $10,000 to the SCMS Scholarship Fund, which is strictly for students eligible to apply for scholarship assistance each year they are in SCMS school.

“The Southwest CUNA Management School Alumni Association is happy to donate $10,000 to the Foundation for the benefit of students attending Southwest CUNA Management School,” said Melisa Burleson, president of SCMSAA. “These scholarship funds assist with the cost of SCMS, which can cause a large financial impact, especially on small credit unions. For some credit unions, this is the only way of sending staff to this extensive training. By donating these scholarship dollars, we hope to assist in alleviating the financial hardship this may impose on credit unions so that the student can focus on the quality curriculum that Southwest CUNA Management School is known for.”

“We are grateful for SCMSAA’s continued support for the fund,” said Cornerstone Foundation Grants Manager Emily Moreno. “We know credit unions really depend on the assistance, and it benefits the credit union in a big way. We have hundreds of testimonials from SCMS graduates and their executive managers who have expressed the tremendous value of an education that caters strictly to the excellence and advancement of credit union leaders.”

SCMS is a three-year program that provides an exceptional forum for networking with other credit union professionals, access to top industry experts, and the opportunity to ignite an inner passion and vision for personal and professional growth. While this year’s classes are virtual, not on campus, SCMS offers an intimate environment to develop leadership skills and foster credit union growth. 

In 2021, the Cornerstone Foundation awarded 54 scholarships totaling $71,921. The Foundation will also award a final “Connect to Collaborate” (c2c) Scholarship this summer to a first-year student who is 40 years or younger and demonstrates the most leadership during the July courses (voted on by peers). Learn more about c2c – Connect to Collaborate.

Burleson, who is also Tarrant County’s Credit Union’s training and engagement manager, holds the SCMS, CUDE, and CCUFC industry designations and understands the value of education for credit union leaders.

“Southwest CUNA Management School aids in producing well-rounded industry leaders, with many students receiving a promotion within one year of graduation, like myself,” said Burleson. “SCMSAA is proud to support the continued growth and education of the next generation of leaders.”

After a year affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new SCMS experience is being developed with 50 new courses. One-third of the faculty are new, and each carries passion and commitment to fostering personal and professional growth.

SCMS Director Janine McBee is hoping to break a record in enrollments for first-year students in 2021. With records back to 1993, the largest first-year class was 56 in 2011.

“We are in range to hit the minimum goal of 60 first-year students,” said McBee. “With 52 first-year students and five who may still come in, it’s possible we could hit 57, which would be a record. We would love the chance to celebrate record enrollment during such disruptive and re-imagined times.”

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