ASU honors college campaign aims to establish 25 new endowed scholarships by 2025


Photo Susan Bitter Smith and Windsor Smith

Susan Bitter Smith (left) and Windsor Smith know the positive impact study abroad can make on students. The Smith Family Study Abroad Scholarship will help students in Barrett, The Honors College at ASU offset the costs of study abroad. Photo courtesy of the Smith family

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Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University is on a quest to establish new scholarships that will expand access and opportunity for students and inspire a new generation of donors. 

The 25 by 25 Scholarship Program aims to develop 25 new endowed scholarships by the year 2025. 

Under the program, for every scholarship endowment commitment of $25,000 total ($5,000 per year for five years), Barrett will award a $1,000 scholarship annually to a student until that endowment is completed. 

Scholarships usually are not awarded until endowments are completely paid. The 25 by 25 program allows for more students to get awarded earlier.

“It is so outstanding to see wonderful alumni, parents and community members invest in Barrett students. We really hope that the 25 by 25 program will incentivize more people to become endowment donors and help build perpetual support for our students,” said Chelsie Bruggeman, director of development for Barrett, The Honors College. 

The Smith family, which includes three ASU alumni who graduated with honors — Susan Bitter Smith, ’77 BA and ’82 MBA; Prescott Smith, ’06 BS and ’12 MBA; and Windsor Smith, ’16 BA/MMC — is the first to create an endowed scholarship under the 25 by 25 program.

The Smith Family Study Abroad Scholarship will provide funds to make study abroad more affordable for Barrett, The Honors College students.

The Smiths said their own study abroad experiences led them to want to help students with overseas travel expenses. 

Windsor maximized her study abroad experience in 2014 as a student in Barrett, The Honors College and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

She went to London, Paris and Milan on a journalism-focused trip where she and other Cronkite students visited news organizations in each city, including the BBC, Reuters, and CNN in London, where she met news host and anchor Christiane Amanpour. 

She learned how the news organizations operated, wrote stories and created digital news segments. She also completed multimedia projects for honors credit and developed her honors thesis project, a video promoting Cronkite School study abroad programs.

“My study abroad experience was amazing and one of the highlights from my time at ASU,” said Windsor, who is now a news producer at ABC15 in Phoenix. 

susan and prescott smith with sparkySusan Bitter Smith (left) and Prescott Smith with Sparky

Prescott participated in two Barrett summer study abroad programs, one in Athens and Rome in Italy and in Dubrovnik, Croatia; and another in London, Dublin and Edinburgh, Scotland. 

“These were both absolute highlights of my college experience,” said Prescott, now vice president of Technical Solutions, a Scottsdale-based public affairs firm. “There is nothing quite like immersing yourself in another culture. It teaches you about world history and the present day unlike any book or school course. Plus, the relationships and bonds you make with other students on trips like this are incredible. I still talk to many of the Barrett students that studied abroad with me.”

Susan said study abroad opportunities were not available to her when she was a student, but she later participated in a Young Political Leaders study abroad program, where she saw firsthand the importance of foreign travel in expanding leaders’ knowledge and professional networks. She also saw how Windsor and Prescott benefited from studying abroad. 

They were “fortunate enough to go on study abroad trips as students through ASU, and, as a parent, I could see how much those trips enriched not only their academic education, but also their life skills education. I firmly believe these unique opportunities enrich a university academic program, no matter what the degree discipline is,” said Susan, president of Technical Solutions and the executive director of the Southwest Cable Communications Association. 

“Barrett is a one-of-a-kind educational opportunity, and now having both of my children as alums, I am absolutely convinced that there is true family value in investing in Barrett and empowering more students to have the study abroad experience. 

“A Barrett scholarship allows our family to create a continuing legacy at Arizona State and Barrett, a legacy that our family is proud of and an educational institution that we want more students to be able to experience.” 

For more information about how to support the 25 by 25 campaign, contact Chelsie Bruggeman at chelsie.bruggeman@asu.edu.

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