An Educational Lifeline

An Educational Lifeline

Tanya Hunt

Life, it seems, is one big balancing act for Tanya Hunt. Just this semester, the junior biochemistry major is juggling the demands of classes in physics, physical chemistry, biology and biochemistry. Three of those courses, she laments, require lab work each week, too.

Tanya HuntOutside of class, she’s frequently balancing her body atop a one-inch line suspended a foot or so off the ground, tied between tree trunks. This activity, called slacklining, often draws attention to her and her nylon strap–walking friends who practice the sport in public parks. This past summer, the spectacle made Hunt and her boyfriend, senior philosophy major Jack Weaver, a new friend in Spain, where they were traveling for three months. They invited the Spaniard back to their lodging, cooked him curry and discussed everything from Buddhist philosophy to the death penalty. The unusual introduction and meal was even stranger for the fact that Hunt’s summer home for six weeks of the trip was a compact car, with the back seat serving as pantry and kitchen. The couple and their guest all shared one bowl.

“It was really tiny, and I’m really tall,” Hunt says of her mobile home. “It was an experience.”

That collegiate experience and many others in Charleston and Spain (where Hunt had studied the year before as part of the College’s study abroad program in Trujillo) might not have happened if not for the generosity of the Gorski family of Duncan, S.C. In May 1996, Michelle Gorski graduated from the College with a marketing degree and began work at a dental supply company in Charleston. Seven months later, she passed away from complications of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Seeking to honor her memory, Paul and Nancy Gorski endowed a scholarship in 1997 in their deceased daughter’s name, aiming to help College students with financial needs.
Michelle Gorski was a bubbly woman who never complained about her cancer, despite regular chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant as a teenager and other invasive medical treatments. At the College, she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, picked up a long-term boyfriend during tennis lessons, kept a pet cat named Mr. B and enjoyed Charleston’s shopping and restaurant scenes. She rarely missed class, despite her cancer repeatedly going into remission and returning, and was never too busy to share thoughtful notes or baked goods with loved ones.

Michelle Gorski

Michelle Gorski '96 at her graduation


“She just fought like you wouldn’t believe,” says Paul Gorski. “She never thought she wouldn’t beat the thing.”

This semester, Hunt was awarded the Michelle Gorski Endowed Memorial Scholarship, and she credits the award for helping provide freedom in her undergraduate pursuits and enabling her to find balance between academic responsibilities at school and a desire to explore. Hunt, who is from Fort Mill, S.C., also works as a chemistry tutor at the College and is a radio deejay. Upon graduation, she’s keen about joining the Peace Corps, looking to travel and help people at the same time.

All these activities and ideas, she says, couldn’t happen without the financial support she receives, including the scholarship endowed by the Gorski family.

“It’s given me the freedom to focus …learning about what I want to do, learning about different cultures in the world,” says Hunt. “It’s kept me coming back to school. I really appreciate my scholarships.”


  • I knew both Michelle and Mr. and Mrs. Gorski well. Their impact on my life, especially Michelle’s, remains. May God bless you Mr. and Mrs. Gorski for putting up with me throughout some of Michelle’s toughest years.

    For what it’s worth, I was truly in love with Michelle. I vividly remember praying to the once unknown God (when I was an athiest) that He would take my life instead of hers.

    It’s a blessing to know her memory is motivation in helping others!


  • Thank you Brad for your kind words…it is very comforting to know after all these years that Michelle has had such an impact on your life as she has with all those lives she touched. In the wake of Michelle’s passing many positive outcomes have emerged one of which being the scholarship at C of C.

  • Mrs Gorski, I think of your family often. I miss Michelle terribly. My oldest daughter, Kadie is a junior at CofC and majoring in Communications. She was also Zeta. She was the only one of my children that Michelle was here to meet. I would love to catch up with you. I wish Kadie had applied for that scholarship just for the honor of having Michelle help her out as I know she would have if she were here. I have no doubt she would have made a wonderful “aunt” to my kids.

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