The Hibernian Society of Charleston has been awarding scholarships to College of Charleston students since 1976. To date, more than 400 CofC students have received more than $600,000 in scholarship funds from the benevolent organization founded in 1801 to provide aid to Irish immigrants.

Since its founding purpose of providing aid to Irish immigrants is no longer as critical, the society has turned its focus to providing scholarships to students in the Charleston area.

On Sept. 18, 2017, the Hibernian Society hosted a ceremony at Hibernian Hall, where 13 College of Charleston students were awarded scholarships, ranging from $500 to $2,000.

“It’s difficult to choose the scholarship recipients because we always get such good applicants,” says J. van de Erve, trustee for the Hibernian Society Foundation. “For all the applicants, we look at academic achievement, need, and who will potentially stay in the area and give back to the community. And, of course, character is very important.”

Of this year’s CofC recipients, seven are returning scholars, including senior Sondrica Goines, who is receiving the scholarship for the second time. The scholarship will allow Goines to continue her studies as a chemistry major and to continue her involvement in the South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation (SCAMP), a four-year enrichment program supporting minority students pursuing careers in STEM fields.

“I am grateful for the opportunities I have because of the Hibernian Society’s generosity,” says Goines. “It will help me to be able to give back as they have given to me.”

Pictured above (left to right), the College’s Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement Chris Tobin, Hibernian Society of Charleston’s President G. Thomas Finnegan III and CofC Provost Brian McGee stand behind this year’s recipients of the Hibernian Society Scholarships (front row, left to right): Jessica Silvey, Grace Ralston, Kionnie Epps, Kassidy Sullivan, Charlie Paine, Courtney Hicks, Sondrica Goines, Omar Valencia and Lauren Croghan.