During spring break 2007 Will Ruberg joined 18 Wheeling Jesuit University classmates, faculty and staff in gutting houses in New Orleans that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. For a commuter student like Will, being part of a service immersion trip provided a way to more fully connect with the WJU campus community. The Katrina relief trip helped Will bond with classmates and appreciate WJU's mission of preparing students for lifelong learning, leadership, and service with and among others. Will found it especially rewarding to be able to give back to New Orleans, his birthplace and home during his early years.
Will died unexpectedly in September 2007. To honor him, the Wheeling Jesuit Class of 2008 decided that their graduation gift to the University would be a service immersion scholarship fund. The graduates of 2009 continued the momentum with another senior class donation to the Will Ruberg scholarship fund.
The scholarship is intended to fund immersion trips for one or more service oriented students each semester. The Will Ruberg Service Scholarship will provide service immersion trip funding of up to $150.00 for domestic trips (not to exceed the cost of the trip) and up to $650.00 for international service immersion trips. Scholarship applications will become available only after students have signed up for immersion trips. Only one student per trip will be chosen to receive the scholarship.
Special consideration is given to students who have yet to participate in a WJU service trip, commuters, and those with financial needs. In subsequent semesters, first consideration will be given to those students who have not yet received such an award. The Service for Social Action Center sponsors service trips to international, urban and rural areas each year to provide assistance to communities in need.
Will is the son of Laurie and George Ruberg of Wheeling. Laurie is associate director at the Center for Educational Technologies, located on the WJU campus. She and Will's father George are pleased that their son's memory can be kept alive in this meaningful manner. "We can't bring Will back, but the scholarship keeps his memory alive," and as Laurie Ruberg explains, "The service scholarship fund is a tribute to Will's life and loving spirit and provides yet another way to model the Jesuit concern for regional and global neighbors."
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