Bella Schmitt, of Dillsburg, is one of three recipients of Lock Haven University's (LHU) Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) Scholarship for the 2022-23 school year. Schmitt is a rising sophomore majoring in health science with a concentration in pre-physical therapy.
Along with boasting a 3.0 GPA, Schmitt also plays second base for the LHU softball team. She started 37 games for the Bald Eagles as a freshman, compiling a .277 batting average with 10 RBIs and seven doubles.
"Being a TKE Scholarship recipient means the world to me because it makes me feel appreciated for the work I put into my academics and athletics," Schmitt said. "The scholarship is truly a great help in how it allows me to focus on my grades and honing my athletic skills, rather than being stressed financially."
Originally drawn to The Haven by its small-town feel, Schmitt has come to love being a part of The Haven Family. She is especially impressed with the array of support she receives from, and accessibility she has to, her professors and coaches.
"LHU has a family-like atmosphere that allows everyone to feel welcomed," Schmitt said. "The faculty really want the best for their students and will always help students with any of their needs."
"From day one, Coach (Kelly) Shannon '15 and Coach (Danielle) Fraser '06 also made me feel like a part of their family," she added. "They truly are a blessing to LHU and the softball program."
Established and endowed in 2013, the TKE scholarship is awarded annually to student-athlete(s) who possess leadership qualities, character and integrity and also have a demonstrated financial need.
"For the first time we were able to award three LHU student-athletes with the Tau Kappa Epsilon Scholarship for the 2022-23 school year," said Scott Culpepper, TKE brother, 1971 Lock Haven State College graduate, and former development chair of the LHU Foundation board of directors.
"I'm incredibly proud of Bella and our other scholarship recipients for their hard work and passion for The Haven," Culpepper added, "It's very gratifying for my fraternity brothers and I to see the positive impact the TKE scholarship is having on current students at university that helped change so many of our lives."
With three years to go before earning her undergraduate degree, Schmitt is eager to continue evolving as a student-athlete under the guidance of her professors and coaches. Upon graduating, she aims to transition her studies to graduate school before launching a career in sports physical therapy.
"I want the brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon to know how much I appreciate their support,
and what a stress reliever it is for me to not have to worry about financial issues
on top of academics and sports," Schmitt said. "Their passion for supporting LHU students
is inspirational. It encourages me to continue working hard and to always go above
and beyond what is asked of me."
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