Bonnie L. Pirkle Memorial Scholarship Program
FASFAA established its own scholarship program as a commitment to help deserving students benefit from higher education.
The scholarship was named in memory of a long-time FASFAA member, Bonnie Long Pirkle, who exemplified the highest personal and professional qualities and who embodied the spirit of camaraderie of FASFAA members. Bonnie Pirkle grew up in South Carolina and Georgia in a very close-knit family. Her life in financial aid began when she accepted the position at Hall School of Nursing in Gainesville, Georgia, in 1970. There she rose from the Nursing Department’s secretary to Director of Student Services. Bonnie came to Florida in 1980, upon accepting the Assistant Director position at Daytona Beach Community College. She moved on to Director positions at Central Florida Community College and Seminole Community College. Then, she accepted a Marketing Manager position at Chase Education Finance Center. Throughout her career, Bonnie made time for additional professional activities. Her two favorite were coordinating FASFAA training activities and planning financial aid conferences. Many things come to mind when describing Bonnie – vivacious, perky, bubbly, caring, thoughtful, warm, welcoming, smiling, but perhaps the one which best describes her is special. To those who came into contact with her, she was special in every way and she made everyone around her feel special too. Bonnie is well-remembered at FASFAA conferences for making every event more fun; for making new people feel welcome and comfortable; for extending herself even at the expense of her own well-being; for her love of dancing; and for her role in arranging the most enjoyable social events at conferences. She touched the lives of everyone she knew and loved – from students who benefited from her personal attention and wisdom, to colleagues she welcomed to association activities, to today’s financial aid leaders she taught at workshops, to friends who enjoyed being with her. Bonnie’s spirit resides in every FASFAA member whose life she touched.
When developing the guidelines for the scholarship, the committee kept the motto, “Keep it simple” in mind. They did not want a long process of collecting applications, reviewing them, and selecting a recipient. At the same time, the committee recognized that the FASFAA president makes a monumental personal and professional sacrifice of time and talent to the membership without any compensation. The presidential term is three years, the first year is President-Elect, then a year being President, and the last year is Past-President. So the committee decided to honor the President and his or her institution by having the FASFAA President select a deserving student from his or her institution.
The funds of the scholarship were established as an endowment with the principal never being touched, and the annual interest earned is used to fund the scholarship each year. The first scholarship was awarded at the Spring 1997 conference. The scholarship is still traditionally awarded during the Annual Conference.
The Association conducts fund-raising activities each year to contribute to the endowed scholarship program. The program will have perpetual existence because only the earnings of the fund are awarded as scholarships, thus enabling the principal to continue to grow.
To make a donation to the scholarship fund,
Please mail a check to:
2400 Feather Sound Drive, #1228
Clearwater, FL 33762
Please make checks payable to FASFAA.
or pay by credit card (Mastercard, Visa, Discover or American Express), by clicking here: