In today’s competitive job market, internships are essential. They enable students to build their network, bolster their resumes, and even land entry-level positions. But internships also require considerable resources. According to the Class of 2016 Student Survey Report (National Association of Colleges and Employers), only 56 percent of students who participated in an internship were paid for their services. This pay gap is a serious issue for many Gettysburgians.
That’s why Neil ’82 and Jennifer Fisher ’82 Bryant made a $100,000 commitment to support internships for first-generation students at the College.
“There is a need to help first-generation students taste the workplace prior to graduating, and we felt compelled to jump in and help as best we could,” said Neil, vice president of sales development for Carestream Health. “Our hope is that this scholarship simply provides opportunities for these students to experience different perspectives, learn more about themselves, engage in a setting that might be new for them, and perhaps ignite a possibility of where they may choose to invest themselves upon graduation.”
Through this commitment, the Bryants want to send a clear message to all first-generation students on campus: Gettysburg alumni are in your corner.
“I hope that those students who benefit from our gift will understand that they’re connected to, and supported by, the entire Gettysburg network—and that they’ll value their internship experience as an important step in building their own post-graduate life,” added Jen, an acclaimed author and poet who recently won the 2017 Schneider Award, given by the American Library Association, for her biography SIX DOTS—A Story of Young Louis Braille. The $100,000 is the latest in a series of gifts by the Bryants to the College, supporting a variety of initiatives—from athletics to scholarships to operations.
The Bryants are active volunteers on campus, devoting their time and talent to the Garthwait Leadership Center, Orange & Blue Club, the 1982 Reunion Committee, and a number of boards and initiatives. Jen was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees.
“Gettysburg College feeds two of our needs,” said Neil. “One is the desire to be connected with something that is larger than ourselves, and the other is to feel that we are making a difference in the lives of students. We are proud to be associated with the caliber of individual and quality of learning that the College provides.”