Geneva Seybold

Geneva Seybold

As we prepare for our journey to Central America, it is important to recognize the scholarship support that has made this experience possible.

Every student in the delegation to Nicaragua who is completing the International Education Washburn Transformational Experience is receiving more than $1,000 in support.

Washburn University offers more scholarship resources for students studying abroad than any other university in Kansas. That’s possible because of a $1 million estate gift made by Geneva Seybold.

Seybold, who earned an English degree from Washburn in 1921, traveled the world for one year as a young woman, after saving $1,500 and quitting her job.

“If you want to build your dreams and you want to be changed, she wanted to make sure you could do that — forever,” said JuliAnn Mazachek, executive director of the Washburn University Foundation, during a program recognizing scholarship recipients. “Take her dream and her intent and run with it. Have the best experience you possibly can.”

Seybold died at the age of 104 in 2004. Because of her gift, Washburn is able to award about $50,000 in scholarships for international experiences each year.

During winter break and Spring 2014 nearly 60 students are participating in study abroad experiences ranging from 12 days to semester-long programs. In addition to our faculty-led trip to Nicaragua (14 students), three other faculty-led experiences will take students to Belize (15), Costa Rica (5) and India (3). Students will spend the semester studying in Belgium (2), France (1), Ireland (1) and Netherlands (1) and four nursing students will complete a four-week clinical experience in Finland.

Each will be transformed. Mazachek told the group: “You will come home and say ‘I know that I can do that and I never thought I could.’”

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