The Gatepost Editorial: An historic donation

Framingham State history was made last week.

On April 24, the University announced that English professor Halcyon Mancuso Krebs and her husband, Thomas Krebs, committed to donating $2.4 million to fund several full-ride scholarships for incoming students with majors in the humanities and social sciences departments.

This is the largest donation the University has ever received and it was given not to the STEM researchers whose work maps a new frontier, but to the underfunded and often overlooked humanities students.

We at The Gatepost would like thank Halcyon Mancuso Krebs and Thomas Krebs for their extremely generous donation.

This donation will give many liberal arts students the opportunity to complete their education, debt free. Without the need to work long hours to afford school, these students will be able to supplement an education focused on developing finely-tuned soft skills with practical applications of these skills through extracurrcular activities and internships.

Often, graduating high school students face pushback from their families when they say they want to pursue a career that people perceive to have a limited number of entry-level positions and low salaries.

However, the long list of successful humanities and social sciences alumni – many of whom return to FSU for career nights and other events – proves that those degrees are not, in fact, “a waste of time.” 

Having completed a degree in the humanities or social sciences, students are well-equipped for the workforce because they are effective written and verbal communicators. In recent years, employers across all domains – including STEM – have expressed their interest in employees who can think critically and communicate with ease.

Yet in recent years, the University has focused on promoting the STEM program at FSU. With the new labs, lucrative internship opportunities and increased interest in the STEM fields, other majors are sadly overlooked.

The Krebs’ donation means the world to the students who sit in May Hall, staring up at the looming, multi-million-dollar Hemenway Labs through broken windows that can’t be closed.

In a world where the evaluation of a career choice is closely tied to money, the donors have given their support to students who choose the humanities and social sciences. This donation places a spotlight on the hard work and value of these students. 

The worn notebooks and rented textbooks filling the humanities and social sciences classrooms might not seem as impressive as the expensive equipment gracing the lab tables in STEM classrooms, but the work students are doing is just as vital and vibrant.

In addition to this $2.4 million scholarship fund, Halcyon Mancuso Krebs plans on purchasing artwork created by students, which will be displayed throughout the campus as a means to promote students’ artistic skills.

Her promise to support budding artists as they enter the working world recognizes students who feel their art is often ignored. Scholarship donors around the country should take note of Halcyon Mancuso Krebs’ generosity and admirable misson.

We certainly have, and we hope everyone here at FSU can take her message to heart.

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