EUGENE, Ore. — The Evans Scholars Foundation, sponsored by the Western Golf Association, announced Wednesday that it is opening a scholarship house on the University of Oregon campus. This project will join 14 other universities nationwide, but will be the only one of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.
Jaira Chaffee has always loved the game of golf. For her and classmate Ben Song, that love led to numerous summers lugging around golf clubs for part-time pay.
“I was 15 when I got my first caddying job. I trained for a while in the summer, and I finally passed training and they told me, ‘Alright, you’re ready to go out there,'” says Chaffee.
Song says, “The summer of going into sophomore year, that was the first job caddying.”
But all those summers spent working paid off because the two are now recipients of the Evans Scholarship, which is awarded to UO students who have two-plus years of caddying experience, are in need of financial assistance, and display academic excellence. Both say the scholarship has made a big difference in their lives.
Chaffee says, “College is very expensive on the students and their family. I come from a family of nine children. So, it was on us to find means to be able to attend a college.”
“I came here when I was 9 years old. My parents migrated here solely for my education, and they left everything behind in China,” says Song.
So, when the Evans Scholars Foundation made its announcement, the two were thrilled.
Chaffee says, “It’s an amazing opportunity. It’s very historical, the first house in the Pacific Northwest in Oregon. We’re very proud that it’s here at the University of Oregon.”
Song says having the house on campus will benefit recipients now and down the road.
“Now we don’t see each other as often, but to be able to be connected, to have the house to connect with future recipients and the current recipients, is an important factor,” says Chaffee.
The house is opening sometime in 2015. Along with the house, the foundation is also expanding scholarships to 50 students, up from the 12 who are currently recipients.