Rising Tide Scholarship

Student-Led Campaign Seeks to Establish Scholarship for Students in Need

What would you do if you could be Dean of The University of Alabama’s College of Arts and Sciences for a day? Marcita Cole, one of more than 8,000 students who were asked the question via social media earlier this year, said she would provide critical financial assistance to successful students in need. The College’s student Ambassadors were struck by her response and are now seeking to make her vision a reality.

Beginning Aug. 25, UA’s College of Arts and Sciences Ambassadors will conduct a two-week-long campaign to promote The Rising Tide Scholarship, which will provide a helping hand to students facing a variety of obstacles or challenges. The campaign will include on-campus events and donation centers, including kick-off events at the Ferguson Center Plaza Aug. 25 and 28 from 9 to 11 a.m., promotions on social media, and spirit nights at restaurants throughout Tuscaloosa.

The Ambassadors’ co-president Will Menas said the goal of the campaign is to have all 8,500 students in the College of Arts and Sciences to donate $1 to the scholarship fund and to build shared community support for the scholarship.

“This is such a worthy cause, and every little bit helps,” Menas said. “We hope to make this scholarship a reality in honor of all the students we know who are facing hardships, including students who are veterans, students who are also parents, students who hold down three jobs to make ends meet, students who have lost parents, students whose parents have lost jobs, and students in other difficult situations.”

Serving as the face of the campaign is a nearly 6-foot-wide, 4-foot-tall “elephant bank” made of wood and Plexiglas that the Ambassadors will use to solicit donations. Students on campus are encouraged to look for the elephant and drop their $1 inside. Students can also make donations by swiping their ACTion cards at the donation centers set up near the elephant or by donating to The Rising Tide Endowed Scholarship online.

Dean Olin and two students with elephant-shaped Plexiglas bank

Dean Robert Olin (right) and A&S Ambassadors Will Menas and Hannah Studdard pose with the elephant bank.

Restaurants around Tuscaloosa have also joined the cause. The following restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to the scholarship fund on the following days and times:

  • Monday, Aug. 25 | Glory Bound Gyro Company, 4 p.m.-close
  • Tuesday, Aug. 26 | Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Midtown Village location only.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 27 | Jason’s Deli, 5-9 p.m. Tell your server and drop your receipt.
  • Thursday, Aug. 28 | McAllister’s Deli, 5-9 p.m. 15th Street Location only.
  • Monday, Sept.1 | Bob’s Victory Grille, 5-9 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, Sept. 2 | Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, 5-9 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 3 | Buffalo Wild Wings, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Digital or hardcopy flyer needed.
  • Thursday, Sept. 4 | Panda Express on 15th Street, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 15th Street location only. Digital or hardcopy flyer needed.

To encourage student participation and collaboration among the College’s faculty and alumni, the Ambassadors have sent letters to faculty members asking them to consider matching a student’s or class’s contribution to the campaign and letters to alumni asking them to match their respective honor society’s contributions. The Ambassadors will need to raise $25,000 in order to endow the scholarship.

Donations can also be made online by visiting the College of Arts and Sciences website at www.as.ua.edu, clicking “Give to A&S” and “Give Now,” and selecting the “Rising Tide Endowed Scholarship” account.

For more information, including flyers for Buffalo Wild Wings and Panda Express, visit A&S Student Services on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/as.stuservices) and Twitter (@AS_StuServices), or contact John Wingard, assistant director of student services for the College of Arts and Sciences, at 205-348-1670 or jmwingard@ua.edu.