Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Scholarship bequest will allow English majors to focus on studies, not finances
In life, words matter. That’s one of the reasons Tobye Stein, CAS’74, and husband Neil Alpiner have made a bequest in support of scholarship funding for Oakland University English majors.
“The less a student has to focus on money, the better their experience will be,” said Stein. “And if they have more assistance, they can focus more on their studies.
”The retired executive vice president and chief human resources officer for the Ontario, Calif.-based CO-OP Network and Service Centers Corporation knows how difficult it can be to cover the cost of higher education. As an Oakland student, she paid her own way, and more than once, almost had to quit when finances grew tight. “I’d seen people who said, ‘I’ll just take a semester off to work and then come back,’” said Stein. “That’s actually very hard for most people to do.”
Focusing the bequest on English majors allowed Stein to share her enthusiasm for the humanities, an interest that began at OU. Before choosing English as a sophomore, Stein tested out a number of majors, from music to political science to history. Her interest in so many subjects paid off in the long run. “Over the course of my working life, I realized having a broad spectrum of knowledge was important,” she said.
For Stein, perhaps the most valuable gift she gained at OU was an ability to write. “It’s helped in every job I’ve ever had,” she said. Throughout her career, Stein mentored young employees, helping them improve their own writing. She shared those teaching skills with OU, when she returned to teach courses in business and human resources.
For Stein and her husband, giving back to OU offers a way for them to leave a legacy that will impact future generations. “We’re hoping that students who need the money and who are academically committed will benefit from this,” she said. There’s little doubt recipients of these scholarships will be grateful. And thanks to Stein’s passion for English, they’ll have the words to express it.