Sharifa Merchant and her husband, Saban, immigrated to Wisconsin from India so their children could pursue their college education in the U.S. Once that goal was achieved, things took a turn toward Sharifa's own education, although that was not in the plans.
At her fulltime job in Madison, Sharifa had the opportunity to arrange and participate in a class for managers at Edgewood College. That one class led her to taking more classes. Over time, she was encouraged by her employer and by her professors to seek a degree program. Saban was supportive too and took over the home duties so Sharifa could fully concentrate on her commitment to work and school simultaneously. This encouragement resulted in Sharifa completing both her Bachelors and Masters degrees. Sharifa’s time here touched her personally. She feels Edgewood College, with its exceptional liberal arts education, was her stepping stone to a fuller life.
Now that she is retired, she wants to give back, both to her community and to Edgewood College. She has established estate-planned scholarships for talented students in financial need in both our School of Education and in the Henry Predolin School of Nursing.
Her purpose is to enable students to fulfill their academic and career goals, which could then become THEIR stepping stone to serving their communities and laying the groundwork for others to benefit and serve. She hopes to create opportunities for future generations to keep the cycle of learning and compassionate giving alive.