Alumni and friends like you ensure that Northland Pioneer College never stops expanding minds and transforming lives!
But for the upcoming academic year, your life-changing gift will go TWICE AS FAR!
At it's March 2020 meeting, the Northland Pioneer College District Governing Board voted unanimously to HALVE tuition to help students affected by COVID-19!
We are a non-profit, 501-c-3 organization. Please make a gift to us a part of your philanthropic goals!
Here's what your tax-deductible gift can do in 2020-2021:
$40 - Provides one credit of tuition
NPC Student Sponsor - $240 - Provides tuition for one student to attend half time (6 credits)
NPC Student Patron - $480- Provides tuition for one student to attend FULL TIME! (12 credits)
NPC Student Champion - $960 - Provides tuition for one student to attend full-time (12 credits) for the FULL ACADEMIC YEAR!
To give online, click the yellow "Donate" button above to go to our PayPal donation page. Complete the information requested on the first page and then click on the "Review Donation and Continue" button at the bottom. To designate your gift as a memorial or tribute, on the second page of the Paypal form find the box at the top that shows your donation amount. On the left you'll see a blue link that says, “Add Special Instructions for the Recipient.” Click on the plus symbol to expand a text box and type, "Donation in honor of _____." Then click the "Donate Now" button at the bottom of the page to complete your donation.
Please note that there is a 3% credit card processing fee charge by PayPal.You may also mail checks to NPC Friends & Family, 1161 S. Main St., Snowflake, AZ 85937. Thank you!
The Jennifer Lee Witt Memorial Scholarship
This is a story about love, and about making a precious life count, and continue to matter, even after that life has ended. It’s about a scholarship, but it’s also about a struggle lost, and about telling others who struggle that there is hope. But it’s mostly about love.
NPC Friends and Family is honored to announce the Jennifer Lee Witt Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is funded through a $200,000.00 endowment, generously provided by Janice and Dan Witt, in loving remembrance of their daughter.
Jennifer Witt was a professor of English and Creative Writing at NPC, much-loved by her students, peers, friends and her husband, fellow English professor Ryan Rademacher. In September 2017, she lost a nearly-lifelong battle with depression and took her own life.
Since then, Ryan has continued to observe important dates, like her birthday and their wedding anniversary, by gently reminding us to do something nice for those we love the most. He is also an outspoken advocate for those who are suffering. On September 3, he posted this on Facebook:
September is suicide prevention month. If you're hurting, afraid, or need someone to talk to, please reach out.
You are so deeply valued, so incomprehensibly loved—even when you can't feel it—and you are worth your life.
If you are ever feeling suicidal, please talk to somebody. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Jennifer’s parents contacted me in early September. They found themselves in a position to establish a scholarship in memory of their only child, and they wanted it to help the students to whom Jen was so dedicated. Her mom told me that Jen had always been a champion of the underdog, that she seemed to innately sense when someone needed help, and that she always gravitated to those who yearned for someone who would heed their troubles and care about them.
Magda Gluszek remembers the first friend she made when she came to NPC to teach 3-D art. She treasured her friendship with Jen and saw her as a person who exuded quiet compassion and listened without judgement. Jennifer sought to teach her students, but also to reach them and raise them up. She recognized the power of education in their lives, and endeavored to help them realize their potential and succeed in bettering themselves through knowledge.
Ryan Orr’s academic journey began at NPC, where he earned his associate degree. Jennifer Witt was his Phi Theta Kappa advisor and encouraged him to apply for the All-Arizona Academic Team scholarship. He won it, and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree before returning to NPC as an Academic Advisor. Jennifer and Ryan Rademacher also introduced Ryan Orr to Magda Gluszek, and the two are now married.
Larrilyn Oso, an NPC alumna, summed up Jen’s devotion to her students when she shared these thoughts:
Jennifer gave me more than just the technical knowledge required for creative writing. She taught me the importance of finding my voice as a young writer; to trust in it and to respect the process of fearless self-expression. She did this through love, kindness and patience - which I believe is why she has helped enrich my life then and even now in my adulthood. People like that are special, and rare. Throughout my academic career and life, I try to carry that spirit with me as a way of thanking her and honoring her work. I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels this way and that's the wonderful thing about Jennifer. She was a true educator and a fantastic, lovely person who made everyone she met just that much better for knowing her.
I think she and Ryan did more for me than they will ever know. They taught me how to fall in love with writing and to respect its purpose. I have been looking for a way to pay them back and I hope this is a tiny start. Each year on Jennifer's birthday, I've decided to do a random act of kindness for a stranger. My hope is it gets passed on throughout the day but I figure it's the least I can do.
It is always bittersweet to announce a memorial scholarship, but this one is particularly so, and also particularly special, because it truly does carry forward the work of a remarkable young woman and educator. In establishing this endowed scholarship, Jen’s mom and dad have truly created a lasting legacy to their daughter for the students to whom she was so devoted.
Please join Ryan Rademacher in showing a little extra love to those you love, and in being fearless about reaching out to those in need. Join Larrilyn Oso in random acts of kindness. And if you are a student, believe in yourself and your abilities. Education is the great gift you give to yourself, that you will have and use forever, and that nobody can take from you.
In Memoriam - Dr. Jon Graff
It is with great sadness that I bring you the news of the death of our longtime champion, Dr. Jon Graff. Many of you longtime riders will recall Jon. I had the great honor of riding with him on his last Pedal the Petrified in 2018; he rode the entire 100 kilometers with metastatic, Stage IV cancer. But his story did not end there, not by a long shot. Jon continued to ride his bike and to “bucket list” around the world. He was involved in a horrific wreck in Texas in the spring of 2019, and clung to life in ICU with multiple fractures. He recovered to get back on his bike less than six months later. Jon did not allow cancer to dictate his journey; he resolved to live to the fullest until he simply couldn’t anymore.
It is not an understatement that Jon’s ongoing support of NPC Friends and Family and Pedal the Petrified has been behind the success of hundreds of Northland Pioneer College students, through the provision of need-based scholarships. He truly changed their lives for the better, and left this world a better place for his having been in it. I feel deeply blessed that Jon continued to include me in his journey, keeping me apprised of his triumphs, and of the ongoing spread of his cancer, without a shred of self-pity. It is a true friend who will openly share with you the bad as well as the good. Gracious to the end, and knowing the end was close at hand, he called me so we could say goodbye.
Jon ended his life’s journey peacefully and with dignity, surrounded by friends, Friday, January 29. For those of you who may not have known him, and those who would like to know him a little better, I have attached our NPC Friends and Family newsletter from November, 2018.
Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
I hope this finds you and your loved ones well in these unprecedented times! I want to share with you some great news. As a great supporter of the students of Northland Pioneer College (NPC) through NPC Friends and Family, I want to share this with you and encourage you to listen to it. I want you to hear firsthand about how you have made a real difference in students’ lives, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, an arm of NPR, called APM Reports released a story called “Covid on Campus,” on their website. One of the colleges covered in their story is NPC! The webpage contains a short written synopsis of the audio story. The audio story is great and features several people at the college including our president and an NPCFF scholarship winner. You can listen to this story at:
The link to play the audio story is located UNDER the photograph on the webpage. PLEASE GO TO THE AUDIO link (which is much more comprehensive) than the written version. NPC’s part of the story starts in the audio recording around 22:26 and ends around 36:05. It is a great example of who we are and what we do, and most of all, how you have helped us! Please know how much I appreciate you, and enjoy!
Take good care,
Betsyann Wilson, Executive Director
NPC Friends & Family
1611 South Main Street
Snowflake, AZ 85937