Class of 2021 announces “Beat the Odds” scholarship


Grace Smrcka, Contributing writer

Each year, the Senior Class Gift Committee, or SCG, raises money through a series of fundraisers and events to then be donated toward a scholarship for the University.

Such scholarships are most often derived from people or concepts that well represent the core values and missions of the University and its community.

On Sept. 28 the Senior Class Gift Committee for the Class of 2021 announced its long-awaited gift for the Mercyhurst community, the Kenny Robinson “Beat the Odds” Scholarship. The scholarship is in memory of Mercyhurst Laker and baseball player Kenny Robinson who died tragically in May 2020.

In the words of the Committee announcement, “Kenny was a passionate athlete, a positive soul, a selfless friend, and a true teammate on and off the field. This scholarship will help a future Laker who embodies Kenny’s spirit and legacy in an inspirational and meaningful way.”

The announcement was made via email to the Class of 2021 and shared on the Hurst Class Gift social media pages.

The Committee will also work closely with the baseball team to spread the word and capture Kenny’s personality and legacy in the truest way possible.

The Committee will aim to raise $15,000 by the end of the year for this gift.

Chaired by seniors Marina Boyle, Grace Siwinski, and Claire Orr, the Committee meets on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in Zurn 214 and is always open to having new members come along.

On Sept. 24 the Committee hosted a Bingo event outside the Student Union. It had an excellent turnout and allowed students to play and donate to the gift at the same time.

They played various styles in each round with plenty of prizes to win. There were ten winners total, and on top of that, each participant won a deck of Mercyhurst-themed cards.

Senior Class Gift events chair, Grace Siwinski, felt the event was a great start to the year.

“These events are a great way to donate to the Senior Class Gift and to enjoy your time on campus during these unique times,” Siwinski said.

The Senior Class Gift Committee is also selling Roost growlers to students, staff, and friends as another fundraiser. Anyone who is 21 or older can purchase one and use it at the Roost, and anyone who is not yet 21 can still purchase one and not use it for non-alcoholic beverages until they are of age.

Siwinski said that the Roost growlers are a one-time purchase of $25. After that, you simply pay the price of the beverage you wish to fill it with at the Roost.

The growlers can be ordered online and picked up from Egan 212 at your earliest convenience.

Finally, the Campus Crawl will be the Committee’s biggest event so far.

It will be held on Oct. 16 from 5-7 p.m. Tickets will be $25, and it will be a walking food tour that is a “Taste of Erie” themed from the comfort of the Mercyhurst campus.

There will be multiple stations where students can get food native to Erie such as pepperoni balls, stuffed potato skins, sponge candy, and lots more.

Students will check-in at Trinity Green and visit multiple tables around campus in order to get their food. There will also be a featured student performer at the crawl.

Signups are only open until Friday, Oct. 2 so be sure to sign up this week. You can get your ticket using this link:

“Afterwards, any students who are 21 or older are welcome to head to the Roost to fill up their growler. This will take place immediately following the Crawl from 7-8 p.m.,” Siwinski said.

Siwinski said that she is “excited for this year, and to create a scholarship that will help students in the years to come.”

The senior class is excited to raise money for this gift and pay tribute to the amazing spirit of Kenny Robinson. Any student, staff member, or friend of the university can make a gift as a one-time donation, become a monthly donor to give $100 over the course of the year, or donate by attending events.

The Senior Class Gift Committee is always open to hearing new event ideas. With the current circumstances limiting large indoor events or off-campus trips, creativity is needed to plan on-campus, fun events that respect social distancing guidelines.

Anyone who has an idea should contact Grace Siwinski, and the Senior Class Gift Committee will try to make it happen.

Keep an eye out for upcoming events to support the SCG!