Cortney Hildebran didn't want to be a number; she wanted to be a name. She wanted to build relationships and have a positive, transformative college experience. That's why she chose Lenoir-Rhyne University.
"The really big difference for me between LR and other schools is the atmosphere," she said. "Everyone at LR is so welcoming,."
Hildebran transferred to Lenoir-Rhyne after her freshman year, and the double major in marketing and English completed her undergraduate journey as a Bear in the spring as a member of the Class of 2020.
"She is an exemplary student and person inside and outside of the classroom," said LR business professor Ali Oguz.
Through the Bridges to Dreams program, Hildebran was efficient with her time taking credits as an undergraduate senior that count toward her degree now as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) student at LR. The program provides students with an opportunity to save both money and time.
"Between Bridges to Dreams and taking summer classes, I'm in line to graduate again this May," she said.
Hildebran worked diligently to minimize her need for student loans, and now that is aided by her selection as a recipient of a 2020 Delta Mu Delta scholarship. As a first-place recipient, she receives $2,000 toward education. A second-place recipient last year, Hildebran was awarded $1,000 in 2019.
During the application process for the scholarship, Hildebran wrote an essay regarding the importance of an international perspective and study abroad experiences in business.
"It [the scholarship] helps a ton," Hildebran said. "I paid for undergrad all by myself. I was a first-generation college student. My loans weren't tragic, but I'm trying to pay for grad school out of pocket. This definitely helps."