The Western New Mexico University Foundation and the family of Tadeusz Westawic signed an endowed scholarship agreement on Tuesday, August 6. The agreement establishes a fund in memory of Westawic, who believed that education should be accessible to those who were willing to seek it and to those needing a second chance.
“With an initial gift contribution of $15,000, the family endowed this scholarship to help keep alive Tadeusz’ spirit of generosity, faith in education, and belief in the magic of curiosity,” WNMU Foundation Executive Director Jodi Edens-Crocker said.
The new Tadeusz Westawic Memorial Scholarship is designed for non-traditional WNMU students starting or returning to college or working on a degree for a second career.
Westawic, who was also known as Tom Hillman-West, taught GED math classes at WNMU, helping adults get the educations they needed to move forward in life.
“He believed that everybody deserves a second chance,” said his daughter Patricia West-Okiri, who is Chair of the WNMU School of Social Work.
The scholarship’s namesake was also an artist, having been trained for his second career at WNMU and later becoming a Raku potter. Westawic’s glaze recipes are still in use by WNMU clay students.
Westawic’s family requested the memorial endowment support others in his memory and benefit deserving students who are working to change their lives, try something different or discover themselves.
Qualified candidates for the WNMU Foundation Tadeusz Westawic Memorial Scholarship may be enrolled either full time or part time and working toward undergraduate or graduate degrees in art, math, computer science, nursing, and social work or human service.
The WNMU Foundation Tadeusz Westawic Memorial Scholarship is both merit- and need-based. Candidates must be students in good standing with a 3.0 minimum GPA since re-entering school. Applicants will each need to submit a personal essay detailing their motivation for coming to school and discussing how receiving a degree in their selected major will change their life or the lives of others. Essays should shed light on the applicant’s perceptions of the values of generosity, education and the courage to take a second chance.