The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

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Tyler Garden Hosts Another Successful Salute to Mothers Scholarship Tea

Courtesy of Eric Parker

Ladies hitched their best fascinators on for Bucks’ 17th annual Salute to Mothers Scholarship Tea where guests filled the tent below Tyler Gardens with affection for the mother recipients of the awards. 

The Salute to Mothers Scholarship Tea started with Betty Tsai, a Bucks professor who retired in 2007 after a 36-year career, being described as “the college’s ambassador to the world.” Her colleagues wanted to start a scholarship fund in her name, which she politely declined, but she still wished to do something for Bucks students. 

While Tsai pondered on a solution, memories of her students who negated parenting with gaining an education came to her mind. Hoping to do something memorable for her students the creation of the Salute to Mothers Scholarships and tea was created.  

On April 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. guests of the scholarship tea came together to celebrate students, who are also mothers, working towards their education for themselves and their families. The tea also dedicates its afternoon to raising funds for more scholarships. 

Guests entered to friendly faces directing them to their seating assignments as Violinist Claudia Pellegrini’s beautiful performances danced in their ears. As attendees mingled and settled into their chairs the event was started by Julianne Theodoropulos, Bucks’ Coordinator, Scholarships and Stewardship with Foundations and Alumni Relations and Dr.Constance “Connie” Corrigan, dean of Health Sciences & Kinesiology and Sports Studies. 

As the three warmed up the crowd with jokes, memories of past teas, admiration for hard-working mothers and fondness towards its founder and donors, they invited Diana Fegly and Jennifer Hipp to speak. 

Diana Fegly spoke in honor of her mom Carolyn L. Fegly who passed in 2018. Fegly recalled how hardworking her mother was and how much “she loved being a mom.” She said that one of her mom’s biggest desires was for her and her two sisters to receive a college education. The family started the Carolyn Fegly Memorial Award last year to benefit student mothers and carry on Carolyn’s memory. 

Jennifer Hipp, a Bucks nursing student, received the Salute to Mothers scholarship for the second year in a row. She told the crowd of her struggles raising her daughters as she worked and attempted to go to school also while caring for her daughters’ wellbeing and education. 

As she was working the desk at a doctor’s office she realized that she only liked her job because she was fond of her boss, who was retiring, and she didn’t actually enjoy the work she was doing. This inspired her to start pursuing her own education again and she enrolled in the nursing program at Bucks. 

Hipp will gain her nursing degree after the spring semester. She ended her speech by telling the crowd how proud she’ll be “when my daughters can tell their friends their mom is a nurse,” she said her voice breaking bringing tears to her own and the crowd’s eyes. 

The rest of the afternoon was filled with casual mingling and laughter as guests rushed to the raffle basket table to play their odds at winning and contributing to a worthy cause. Tables were decorated with delicious tea sandwiches, charming desserts by the Bucks culinary students and an assortment of teas. 

The tea has grown greatly from a humble beginning when the event was held in Tyler Music Hall Room where the committee members would make sandwiches to go along with desserts donated by local bakeries. This year a total of 225 guests attended raising a gross amount of $40,878. 

This yearly event is coordinated by the Bucks County Community College Foundation board along with the Salute to Mothers Tea committee which meets throughout the year to be involved with the planning of the event, invitations and the raffle baskets.