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When Alex Bolen receives her college degree in 2014, graduation day will mark a personal milestone for her and a historic moment for her family.

Bolen, a fourth year student who is studying Information Management Systems, will be the first person in her family to earn a college degree. The Greenville native said her family has been supportive of her through the successes and struggles she’s faced as a college student.

“I think it’ll be a good day when I walk across that stage,” Bolen said.

One struggle Bolen faced was financial. A loan that she depended on to help fund her education did not come through, and leaving college for a semester was a possibility. However, Bolen was able to continue her studies without interruption when she received the USC Upstate Foundation Scholarship.

“If it wasn’t for the USC Upstate Foundation, I wouldn’t be as far along in my studies,” Bolen said.
As a result of this and other experiences, Bolen said she regularly encourages prospective students to attend USC Upstate. She often brags on the faculty and staff.

“They really care about your success at USC Upstate,” Bolen said. “And the university is growing. I can’t wait to see where it will be in 10-20 years.”

Bolen hopes that external donors will continue to offer scholarships for students and she hopes that faculty, staff and retirees will continue to contribute to the university’s Family Fund campaign. She is proof that the generosity of donors makes a difference.

“Every contribution has an impact,” she said.

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