April 16, 2021

Honors College Zoom to the Finish 2! celebrates creativity and resilience

Like last year’s event, Honors College Dean John Corvino will host the second installment of Zoom to the Finish to raise funds for the college’s Finish Line Fund, which awards scholarships to eligible Honors seniors.

Wayne State University’s Irvin D. Reid Honors College is celebrating students, faculty, staff and alumni at Zoom to the Finish 2!, a special online event Thursday, April 22, at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. EDT. Like last year’s event, the second installment will raise funds for the college’s Finish Line Fund, which awards scholarships to eligible Honors seniors.

“Initially, we were just trying to maintain momentum after last year’s launch,” said Honors College Dean John Corvino. “But then we started receiving video submissions from students, and when we put everything together we realized we had the makings of an outstanding showcase.”

Zoom to the Finish 2! includes student performances, interviews, surprise cameo appearances, faculty and alumni spotlights, comedy and more. It’s a YouTube Party — no Zoom required — featuring a live chat that allows attendees to join in on the fun.

“I was actually worried about how I was going to pay for this semester because my loans didn’t cover all of it,” said Alissa Turnbull, an Honors biochemistry senior who received one of six Finish Line Scholarships awarded this year. “Having this extra funding just took a lot of stress out of everything. I didn’t have to worry about being more in debt or having to pick up a bunch of extra hours at work and put my family in danger. It was a huge load of stress off my mind.”

To inspire others to support Honors students, Honors Board of Visitors Chair, Monteith College graduate, and former Wayne State University Governor Michael Einheuser has made a $10,000 challenge gift that will match gifts made during Zoom to the Finish 2! In doing so, a gift of $100 becomes $200, $500 becomes $1,000, and so on. 

Check out a preview here:

Corvino’s big dream is to someday make the Honors College tuition-free. He knows this is a big goal with an enormous price tag, which is why he is starting by focusing on modest scholarships in the senior year. 

“For many students, the senior year presents the heaviest demands, both academically and financially,” Corvino said. “By reducing seniors’ debt load, we allow them to focus on preparing for graduate school, professional school or career, rather than taking on extra work hours. It provides a strong launch to what follows.”

Gifts of any amount can support the Finish Line endowment, which generates scholarships for selected seniors. These awards will be based on financial need and academic achievement. Larger gifts or pledges (more than $25,000) can create named Finish Line Scholarships. Corvino’s own named scholarship has been designated as a Finish Line Scholarship.

Supporters can also choose to become “Finish Line Friends,” pledging a minimum of $1,000 annually for at least three years. Instead of going to the endowment, these funds flow directly to students, allowing many more Finish Line Scholarships than the initial endowment will support.

“As a full-time student trying to work and deal with the stressors of the pandemic, the Finish Line Scholarship just really came at the right time,” said Jennifer Kida, Honors social work senior and Finish Line Scholarship recipient. 

Zoom to the Finish 2! is free to attend and open to all. You can find more information, RSVP or watch the event Thursday, April 22, at 6 p.m. or 9 p.m. EDT at honors.wayne.edu/finishline.

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