Christian Duplessie graduated from Murrow College in 2019, with a degree in Journalism and Media Production and an emphasis in Broadcast Production. Christian now serves as a Battalion Personnel Officer and Staff Communications Officer in the Idaho Army National Guard and lives in Boise, ID. He recently made a gift to support the Murrow College Scholarship Excellence Fund and wants to encourage others to join him by sharing why he gives as a recent alum.

Please join Christian on Giving Tuesday, November 30, by making a gift to support today’s Murrow students through the Murrow College Scholarship Excellence Fund

Scholarships allow students to excel academically

Christian benefitted from having most of his tuition costs covered by an ROTC scholarship. Tuition, however, isn’t the only cost of attending college. Christian still needed to fund his housing, transportation, food, schoolbooks and equipment, and other necessary costs. Additionally, his availability to hold a job was limited by his class schedule, ROTC work and the need to engage with others’ schedules to cover a story or facilitate an interview to complete his assignments. Christian shared, “the Murrow College scholarship allowed me to do my best academic work without having to worry about where my next meal was coming from or if I was going to be able to afford next month’s rent.”

Scholarships continue to impact student opportunities, even after graduation

As a recent alumnus, Christian reflected on the stability he has now as scholarships lessened the number of student loans he needed to take. “My outstanding student loans are a lot lower than they would have been if it wasn’t for the generosity of alumni and folks who support scholarships.”

The cost of higher education affects students even after graduation. Recent graduates may be limited in what internship or job offers they can accept because of the need to start making payments on their student loans. These payments may make it difficult for recent graduates to pursue opportunities that require them to move or take positions that would provide professional experience but insufficient pay.

Paying it Forward

Christian is motivated to pay forward the support he received through Murrow College scholarships to current students.

“I remember what it was like to get that notification, ‘Hey, congratulations! You’ve qualified for this scholarship’, and immediately having that relief. [Now], I’m fortunate enough to have gotten myself settled in where I’m making a solid, stable income with my job with the National Guard, and I want to be able to make sure that a student like me gets to feel that sense of relief and be like, ‘Okay, I can breathe. I can make it through this. I can go ahead and continue my journey with Murrow and as a Coug.’ If I can help make higher education even a little bit more attainable for someone, it’s a good thing to do.”

Small gifts, large impact

At times, recent graduates don’t feel like their financial contribution can make a big impact. With the Murrow College Scholarship Excellence Fund, individual gifts combine to make a collective impact. These collective gifts enabled Murrow to provide $25,000 in student scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Christian shares this advice to other alumni, once you “make yourself stable and then share what you can. Your $50 here or there makes a difference. We always think of, you know, the big names on the buildings that either recognize outstanding alumni or people who donated the hundreds of thousands or even millions. But at the end of the day, those smaller donations can and do make a big difference.”