Alumni Alumni: Scholar Day: Students, donors celebrate scholarship impact at UMassD

Alumni Alumni: Scholar Day: Students, donors celebrate scholarship impact at UMassD
Scholar Day: Students, donors celebrate scholarship impact at UMassD

UMassD students and donors bonded over brunch to showcase the significance of scholarships on student success in the classroom and beyond.

Donors view student exhibition on Scholar Day
Donors view a student exhibition by Cheyenne Amaral '23.

On April 1, UMass Dartmouth hosted Scholar Day, a jubilant event to honor donors for their generosity and acknowledge scholarship students for their academic successes. This event recognizes donors who fund endowed scholarships that provide critical financial aid for students’ ambitious academic goals.

Empowered by the impact of scholarships on students, donors visited the Marketplace to view student exhibitions that showcased their bright ideas, made achievable by their financial support. Before a celebratory brunch, scholarship recipients proudly displayed their passions and mingled with their donors, the cornerstone of their academic careers.

“UMass Dartmouth students work hard. We have visions for ourselves and we have goals. Thanks to scholarship donors, I can offset the amount of hours that I must work in order to achieve my debt-free goal,” said scholarship recipient Kyle Furtado ’23, who addressed attendees with a brief speech that conveyed his gratitude and appreciation for donor philanthropy. Along with Patricia Nsubuga ’25 and Joshua Keith ’23, MBA ’24, he thanked donors for encouraging students to pursue the future of their dreams.

“Our students need us and we need them,” Mary Louise Nunes ’83 asserted to students and donors. A donor herself, Nunes delivered a moving speech about the impact of giving on student livelihood. “We need to make sure that the students at UMass Dartmouth have assistance with their long-term educational needs.”

Nunes’ scholarship recipient, Aidan Cornetta ’26, was in attendance and developed a close bond with her through the Blue and Gold Scholarship, a $4,000 award distributed over four years. Cornetta thinks of Nunes as a mentor that will introduce him to different career opportunities in the financial industry. With Nunes’ help, Cornetta hopes to have a seamless transition into his career after graduation. Nunes is a long-time supporter of UMassD students and contributes to scholarships for accounting and engineering students in honor of her husband’s career.

Chancellor Fuller poses with scholarship students and donor on Scholar Day
Chancellor Mark Fuller poses with Patricia Nsubuga '25, Joshua Keith '23, MBA '24, Kyle Furtado '23, Mary Louise Nunes '83, and Aidan Cornetta '26 on Scholar Day.

“I urge you to consider what you’re doing within your plans,” Nunes implored, a sense of urgency in her call to action. “We need to give our time to our students. We need to give our treasures. We need to give our talents, as we can introduce the students we are sponsoring to professionals in their particular area.”

For students and donors, Scholar Day was an opportunity to craft personal and professional connections with one another in hopes of building a better tomorrow.

Students with exhibitions included: Landon Begin ’24; Eugenie Ouedraogo ’26; Cheyenne Amaral ’23; Kelsey Ferreira ’24; Amelia Ashworth ’23; Amelia DeMelo ’23; Celina Braga Chaves ’23; and Joshua Keith ’23, MBA ’24.

Begin’s exhibition was a project on metatarsal stress during running in females, a study that his scholarship supported with additional funds to help jumpstart his future career. Presenting on her experience at the State of the Union Address, student and mother Ouedraogo affirms that scholarship funds alleviate the financial stress to find affordable childcare.

Amaral and Ferreira’s exhibitions illustrated how their scholarships motivated them to build their artistic portfolios. While Amaral presented interior design projects with extensive details, Ferreira exhibited hand-drawn artwork and graphic design pieces from her internship with Northeast Maritime Online.

Ashworth and DeMelo partnered together to discuss how their scholarships financially enabled them to pursue opportunities in public service offered by UMass Law’s Public Interest Law Fellowship (PILF) Program.

As a graduate assistant at the Star Center, Braga Chaves believes scholarships contribute to her ability to help students face academic adversity. Keith showed donors a collection of photographs from his most successful moments at UMassD with a powerful message: scholarships put students on a path to success.

See more photos from Scholar Day on Facebook!

If you are interested in learning more about donating in support of scholarships at UMass Dartmouth or establishing a Blue & Gold Scholarship, please contact Shannon Wood, director of annual giving, at