Articles: Suppport Needed as College of the Marshall Islands Marks 20 Years Anniverary

Contributed by YokweOnline on Mar 28, 2013 - 07:05 AM

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For twenty years the College of the Marshall Islands has proudly carried out its mission as the national college of the Republic.  There have been changes over the decades since the College of Micronesia established an extension campus on Majuro and then transfer of the Nursing School from Saipan to Majuro.  CMI has moved from small business offices to the old Majuro Hospital finally into new and modern facilities and with more resources than anyone could have imagined twenty years ago when CMI was formally established.  In addition there are important programs and activities taking place at Arrak and soon the launching of Distance Education Centers on Ebeye, Jaluit and Wotje.

There have also been many challenges along the way, but one of the most important is the need for all people and all organizations, all of us who live and work in the Republic, we all need to support the endowment and scholarships of the National College.  This will be one of the best ways to prepare for the future, a future that incorporates a better chance at more financial independence, particularly with 2024 looming in the distance, when many of the current economic and financial provisions of the Compact run their course.

 Currently the CMI Endowment stands at less than $60,000, this total simply has to change, there has to be more zeros in this amount to ensure a better future for CMI and the RMI.  Currently the Sammer Scholarship is standing at approximately $60,000 and this needs continued support to assist students who live on Kwajalein and the Outer Islands.  The Makroro Scholarship is currently standing at less than $5,000, and if we are to help support graduate education for those interested in the field of education, this figure for the Makroro Scholarship has to be much higher to be credible and useful.  The development of more locally funded scholarships is even more critical now that national scholarship funding is not as secure as it has been in the past.  For example, the National College also needs to establish more scholarship funds to support nursing education and to support a general scholarship fund that can better support the general student population.  There are other scholarship initiatives and activities that also deserve support and the faculty and the staff are supporting these now, but to be more successful, we need the help of the broader RMI community.

 There are examples from our past, people who have dedicated themselves not just to the RMI, CMI, and our students, but also helped start and support the CMI Endowment, namely Emmson Makroro, Greg Sammer and Sister Georgia.  These three individuals exemplified the types of effort and sacrifice that it takes to produce the change necessary in a challenging environment, where we all want to see improvements and progress in education and the development of your national school, your students and these islands.  The Board of Regents, faculty, staff and students at CMI cannot do this on our own, to support the endowment and scholarships that are needed for today and for the future of CMI and the RMI, will require additional and more extensive moral and financial support from the community, government, individuals and other donors, friends of the RMI and CMI.

-- College of the Marshall Islands President, Carl Hacker, March 28, 2013

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