James Kelin came to Xavier from Lancaster, Pa., to pursue a career in the high-paying field of finance as a student in the Williams College of Business. But it’s not the money that drives him. It’s the opportunity that a career in finance will afford him to pursue his dream of helping lower-income individuals become investors, too, just like everyone else.
And as one of the first three recipients of a new scholarship created by Western & Southern Financial Group, Kelin is another step closer toward his altruistic goal.
“I would like to pursue a career as a broker or financial analyst, then go into financial advising with low-income families,” he says. “The stigma around financial investing is that it’s reserved for a small highly educated few, but anyone can invest. The benefits are astronomical, and I would charge lower fees for lower-income people. It’s important to me because I want to be impacting the community, not just myself.”
The scholarship provided by the $2 million Western & Southern Scholars Program is worth $10,000 toward one year’s tuition at Xavier for each recipient. Once fully funded, it will benefit two students each year in each class.
For Kelin, a sophomore with a 3.85 GPA, winning the competitive scholarship is also a way for him to thank his father for supporting him after his mother died, but especially to show his gratitude for the gift of her life insurance, which is paying for his college expenses. The scholarship will help make the life insurance proceeds last longer.
“It’s also to give back to my father and stepmother and help contribute and offset the cost of attending here,” Kelin says. “It means a lot to me to make them proud.”
Kelin attended an event on Friday, Nov. 10, with the other scholarship recipients to honor and thank the company and its corporate leaders for their gift to the Williams College of Business in support of Together. For Others. The Campaign for Xavier University, the $250 million fundraising campaign that was launched in September.
Gathered in the college’s Smith Hall atrium, now named the Western & Southern Grand Lobby in recognition of their gift, John Barrett, president and CEO of Western & Southern, and Tom Williams, President & CEO of North American Properties, expressed support for the kind of education that Xavier and the business school provide.
“This is yet another testament to the renaissance taking place on this campus,” Williams said. “You’re the reason we have the confidence to invest in Xavier. You look around society and see how desperate we’ve become. We need principled driven leadership.”
Barrett also pledged his support for the University. “I’ve been involved with Xavier for a long time because of what it means to all of us.”
President Michael Graham, S.J., thanked them for the gift and said, “This program will offer these outstanding students an opportunity to prepare not only for leadership and service, but excellence in their academic fields. The Western & Southern scholars will develop to their full potential and enter a world prepared to excel and serve others.”
In her remarks to the gathering, sophomore Megan Hammond thanked Western & Southern for their generosity on behalf of the students receiving scholarships.
“This is an opportunity and a privilege to be affiliated with your organization,” said Hammond, who is majoring in Marketing and Spanish. “It shows Western & Southern’s commitment to the development of students in the Williams College of Business. And it’s a blessing to be part of this partnership. It provides an opportunity for networking and stands out as an achievement with academic merit to it. The scholarship makes a huge difference for me.”
The third student awarded a scholarship is Jenna Kay, from Penfield, N.Y. She is a freshman majoring in Finance and is in the University Scholars program.
The $10,000 scholarship is a huge benefit to all three recipients as it reaffirms their choice of Xavier for their college education and rewards them for their success as business students. It also is a testament to the importance of giving back to the community, Kelin said.
“Making money won’t change my principles of giving back,” he said. “I would use my money to provide for others and protect the environment. The ones that have—and give—are what makes society work.”
Feature Image: From left, Father Mike Graham, S.J., James Kelin, John Barrett, Megan Hammond, Jenna Kay and Tom Williams.
Learn more and contribute to the Together. For Others campaign.