INA, Ill. – The general scholarship fund grew for two departments at Rend Lake College this spring, thanks to a greenhouse renovation and budding enthusiasm for gardening at home.
More than $1,000 was generated through a flower sale held at the greenhouse in the days following the May 15 commencement ceremonies. Co-orchestrated by the on-campus bookstore and physical plant personnel, the sale meant big savings to employees looking to buy flowers for their home garden or as Mother’s Day gifts without pinching back the bank account.
Physical Plant Director Randall Shively and Bookstore Manager Dorothy DeAngelo presented the sale flower sale revenue to RLC Foundation CEO Pat Kern. Kern said the physical plant will be able to offer another scholarship – it is already one of the largest on-campus providers of scholarships to RLC students – and the bookstore can offer its first scholarship. Other RLC providers of scholarships are advanced technology, Child Care Resource and Referral, the division of math and science, Students for Students Success and theatre.
“While it was championed by staff in the bookstore and physical plant, at the end of the day this drive was a campus-wide accomplishment in raising tuition support for our student body here at Rend Lake College,” Kern said.
Kern said employees from the departments will form scholarship committees to choose the recipients. And while the recipients for about 90 percent of scholarships for this coming term are set, there is still hope for those seeking financial assistance.
“There are scholarships such as these which are still open so I would encourage students to apply,” she said.
Those interested in completing a scholarship application can visit the RLC Foundation online at www.rlc.edu/foundation and click on the RLCF Scholarship button.
Renovating the greenhouse, which sits on the southwest corner of the science building and features a fully-automated watering system, enabled the college to cut costs by growing their own varieties and hybrids without sacrificing quality.
Wayne Caplinger in maintenance and Barb Jenkel, who was a student worker at the time but has since graduated from the horticulture program, were instrumental in the greenhouse renovation, along with a number of others from the physical plant.
Caplinger said varieties grown in the greenhouse and sold to staff, faculty and administrators included scarlet red, cactus flower and double-bloom giant zenias; pale pink and white cosmos cody; hot pink patience; high-end, safari bolero marigolds; Mr. Majestics and more.
“It’s stuff you don’t see everywhere,” he said.
“We are going for high quality and color,” Jenkel added.
“All the colors in here are custom colors,” Caplinger said.
“We probably have at least 50 varieties if not more,” she said.