Former Tower Guard President Reflects on Endowment Success

November 7th, 2016

Allison Bertram

Every spring, outstanding members from MSU’s Tower Guard Organization are selected to be honored with generous scholarships. They embody the legacy of Tower Guard by going above and beyond to serve fellow Spartans. Although it may seem like a long-standing tradition, this scholarship is relatively new. In fact, it started as a Tower Guard member’s idea in 2006.

Anticipating Tower Guard’s 75th Anniversary, Piper Nitchman (President, 06/07) was interested in connecting with Tower Guard Alumni and making a stronger network through creating a scholarship. “I took those ideas to Mike Hudson,” Piper explained. “He had similar goals in mind and was very receptive.”

Piper and Mike proceeded to meet throughout the year, and worked diligently along with Specialist Virginia Martz, MSU Development Officer Anne Marie Lindley, and former TG Advisor Dr. Douglas Noverr to make the dream a reality.

Tower Guard group smiling with a sign that reads "Tower Guard 06-07" in front of their Homecoming Float. Five Tower Guard students sitting and smiling together in 1980's throwback attire.

(Left) Tower Guard E-Board with the 2006 Homecoming float. (Right) Tower Guard E-Board at the 80's theme party (Nitchman, center).

RCPD Director Michael Hudson was impressed with Piper’s initiative: “She was deeply engaged and looking to enhance Spartan traditions. We built on each other’s ideas that year.”

He and Piper both recognized an opportunity to help students who were already helping others. “I saw students working extremely hard during their Sophomore year. I thought it would be nice to see them enter their Junior year with some extra assistance when it came to covering the costs of college.”

“My expectations for the scholarship were simply to reward members who had gone above and beyond. I hoped it would not only help them financially, but also to bestow and honor them for their dedication to service and the organization,” Piper stated.

The team worked throughout the year to finalize their ideas. They discussed who would receive it, how it would be funded, and read endowment paperwork word-by-word.

“Signing the endowment paperwork was like a dream come true!" Piper reflected. "It was so amazing to see everything put into place and to know that what we were doing at that moment would positively impact deserving students and the organization as a whole, far into the future. I feel so blessed to have been part of the process and so thankful for Mike Hudson’s dedication to Tower Guard.”

Tower Guard was then established as one of the first MSU student organizations to have an endowment. Since then, Tower Guard members have had a fresh initiative to work hard raise money for the organization and the RCPD. In the 2015/2016 academic year, Tower Guard students donated an all-time high of $9,300 through fundraisers, events, bake sales, and donations.

Michael Hudson smiling and shaking Nick Corsi's hand as he accepts the Tower Guard donation check. Piper and her husband sitting in front of a fountain and smiling with their children.

(Left) RCPD Director Michael Hudson accepting a check from 15/16 Tower Guard Treasurer Cameron Anderson. (Right) Piper Nitchman with her family.