WSU Students Among Awardees of Tsongas Scholarship

April 8, 2011
By: Worcester State University News

In a packed State House ceremony attended by President Janelle Ashley, Senator Michael Moore, members of the Tsongas family, State Auditor Suzanne Bump, Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Freeland, and many other dignitaries, five Worcester State Students were among 60 students who were recognized for their academic talents and dedication by being named Tsongas Scholars. The Tsongas Scholarships cover full tuition and fees at any of the nine campuses of the State University System.

“I am so proud of these outstanding students,” said Worcester State University President Janelle Ashley, who attended the ceremony.”  The WSU honorees are:

Ms. Jillian Boraski

Ms.Emily Burakiewicz

Mr.Paul Conceison

Mr.Daniel Rowland

Ms.Kerry Wagner

Scholarship awards are merit-based, and financial need is not required for eligibility. Tsongas Scholarships are granted to students who graduated high school with GPAs of at least 3.75 or academic ranking in the top 10 percent of their classes. Students can receive Tsongas Scholarship funding for all four years, although to renew funding students must maintain a 3.3 GPA and meet any other requirements set by individual institutions.

The awards cover in-state tuition and mandatory fees for up to four years, which is approximately $7,338 each year.

The program was launched in 1998 by the Board of Higher Education as a tribute to the late Paul E. Tsongas, who died in 1997. It was designed to further Senator Tsongas’ belief in the value of education and the importance of public colleges and universities in providing all citizens access to academic excellence. In addition to his many other contributions to the public good, Senator Tsongas once served as Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education, the precursor to today’s Board of Higher Education.

Also present at the ceremony were Senator Michael Moore, Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Higher Education; Representative Tom Sannicandro, House Chair, Joint Committee on Higher Education; numerous state senators and representatives; and Jay Curley, Senior Vice President of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts, which sponsored the event; and all nine presidents of the Massachusetts State University System. The event was held in the Great Hall of the State House.

The nine-campus Massachusetts State University System comprises 4-year, baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting teaching universities. They include six comprehensive institutions that combine a liberal arts education with professional development training, which include Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Salem State University, Westfield State University, Worcester State University, and three specialized institutions, including the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay. The state university system educates more than 51,000 students each year, and has more than 225,000 alumni.

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