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Jessup scholarship named to honor Friends and Neighbors member

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Two students at William Jessup University are recipients of a new scholarship set up on behalf of former Roseville resident Pat Williams, who lost her battle with cancer earlier this month.

The Pleasant Grove Community Church member was passionate about education, having spent much of her career as a kindergarten and elementary school teacher. She was also largely involved with the Friends and Neighbors Inspired group at William Jessup University.

“Pat was a strong advocate for higher education, she had an infectious laugh and was full of life,” said Kathleen Tucker, special representative to the president at William Jessup University. “When the Friends and Neighbors group first formed, I asked Pat to be part of the initial steering committee to help the university better connect with the senior community.”

Williams joined the group and, later, the scholarship committee that played an instrumental role in helping to raise funds to endow the Friends and Neighbors Inspired scholarship in the amount of $25,000.

Earlier this year, Williams’ husband, Paul, passed away and Williams requested that gifts in lieu of flowers be given in his name to the Inspired Scholarship Fund.

Since Williams joined the scholarship committee in 2008, the group raised more than $33,000 and has given away scholarships each year to a total of four deserving students. During the summer of 2012, the group met its goal and endowed the Friends and Neighbors Inspired Scholarship, ensuring that the scholarship will be available to students for many years to come.

It was just a few weeks later that Williams learned her cancer was terminal. Her friends were adamant to give a special scholarship in her honor and wanted her to know about their plans.

In early December, the Women’s Ministry group at Pleasant Grove Community Church held a Christmas lunch that raised funds in Williams’ honor. Other members of the Friends and Neighbors Inspired committee also donated to the fund, which totaled $3,500. These funds were used to create the Pat Williams Inspired scholarship at William Jessup University. The award was presented to William Jessup University on behalf of Williams on Dec. 30, 2012, during a church service at Pleasant Grove Church in Roseville.

Since that time, two students from the university’s School of Professional Studies (designed for working adults) have been selected to receive the scholarship.

Christopher Ireland and his wife, Kyle Ireland, began taking courses in the School of Professional Studies in January 2012. As a young married couple, they both work and wanted to complete their degree at a Christian liberal arts institution.

Christopher is pursuing a degree in Christian Leadership. His desire is to work in youth ministry, incorporating worship, music and art, and he is employed as a youth pastor at Sun River Church in Rancho Cordova.

Kyle is majoring in psychology and shares her husband’s passion for youth ministry. In addition she enjoys community service, being actively involved in serving meals to the community’s homeless population and community teen events.

The service for Williams will be held at noon Feb. 2 at Pleasant Grove Community Church.