Dear faculty, staff, and students:
I am writing today to share with you a major milestone in the University’s history and a student story that exemplifies the dreams and determination we see daily in the students we serve.
In 2013, a student named Jason Carter enrolled at Metropolitan State, his fourth college or university, to take prerequisite courses for a science program he wanted to pursue. He was also in the first year of a protracted struggle with acute leukemia.
Jason enjoyed his studies in chemistry and showed real aptitude for the subject. He told his family how deeply he admired his fellow students’ determination and struggles with their own obstacles and setbacks. He found a sense of community among his amazing classmates, and he was very grateful for his professors’ support, flexibility, and belief in his pursuit of learning.
Jason faced multiple relapses and varied courses of treatment over the next few years. His family told me he never gave up, but finally, leukemia and its complications overwhelmed his physical limits, and he passed away last May. Jason spoke to his family of wanting to leave a legacy. Clearly, he already had, with his instructors and fellow students, but that was just the start.
This morning, at our annual Scholarship Celebration Breakfast, it was my honor to announce the creation of the Jason Carter Endowment in Science, which will provide recruitment and retention scholarships for students in the natural sciences as well as support for student and faculty research.
In light of the commitment of Jason’s family to give two million dollars to support the Endowment, the faculty of the Department of Natural Sciences passed a resolution in support of naming the Science Education Center after Jason Carter.
Following my consultations with groups across the University community and upon my recommendation, Chancellor Steven Rosenstone has approved naming our newest building the Jason R. Carter Science Education Center. Jason’s passion for learning and his valiant struggles with adversity will be commemorated in the lives of the many determined and deserving students whose dreams will be brought within reach by their receipt of a Carter scholarship.
I am deeply grateful to Diana and Robert Carter for their generosity and desire to support students who seek the same joy and success that Jason pursued. And I am reminded of how many stories like Jason’s are being lived out daily, all around us. Ultimately, I believe that it is our shared, deep desire to make those aspirations achievable that powers our work and keeps our values alive.
Scholarship application materials are already being prepared, and we expect to see Carter scholars in science classes during spring semester. A university celebration of this gift and the naming of the SEC will be organized during the spring 2017 term.
This is the largest private gift the University Foundation has ever received. I believe it is an indication of the growing understanding of Metropolitan State’s important mission and the impact and reputation that the programs supported by the Jason R. Carter Science Education Center will generate as they grow over time.
None of this would be possible without each of you and your commitment to our University’s mission.
President Virginia "Ginny" Arthur
Metropolitan State University