RSU Bartlesville Scholarship Fundraising Breakfast Held June 20

  • Woman speaking

Rogers State University Bartlesville students and those who support them met for breakfast at the Bartlesville Community Center for the annual RSU Foundation Bartlesville Scholarship Fundraising Breakfast.

Held June 20, the annual fundraising event provides scholarships for students attending RSU Bartlesville, as well as those who have transitioned from attending RSU Bartlesville to the Claremore campus to complete their degree.

Thus far, this year’s breakfast raised more than $22,000, with more expected in the coming weeks.

Serving as moderator for the event was RSU Vice President for Development Steve Valencia.

“Thank you for being here today to show your support of Rogers State University, particularly your gifts towards scholarships of our students. They all have different stories, different needs, but they all have goals and dreams,” Valencia said to the gathered sponsors, advertisers, supporters and friends of RSU. “Your support of this event, your support of the Bartlesville campus and of RSU in general, helps make our students’ dreams come true.”

Valencia shared a message from RSU President Dr. Larry Rice, who was unable to attend the event, as he was in Ardmore at a board meeting for the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma.

Valencia then gave a brief recap of happenings at RSU, recognized community partners and scholarship recipients before recognizing spokeswomen from ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66, Karen Leinen and Jenny Brown, respectively.

“We’re so happy to partner with RSU and to be able to help our students along their life’s path, moving down that road with their studies and in their careers,” said Leinen, Bartlesville Community Relations, ConocoPhillips. “We’re so excited to be a part of that and we hope to be an encouragement to you all as you go along the way.”

“Phillips66 is pleased to contribute each year to RSU,” said Brown, Communications and Community Relations, Phillips 66. “Education is one of our pillars, so we’re always glad to contribute to RSU. Congratulations to all the students.”

Following the recognition of sponsors and advertisers, student speaker Cory Snelson addressed the crowd.

“When I first went to college in 2007, I went on a soccer scholarship and I was not the biggest fan of school,” Snelson began. “I did all the extra tutoring sessions and I still struggled, feeling like I was ‘just another student’ and I didn’t get a lot of guidance. No one in my family had gone to college, so I didn’t have anyone to truly lean on within my family.”

When her little sister got into a serious car accident and needed care, Snelson said she ceased her studies to look after her injured sibling and start working full-time.

“At that time, I thought I would never be a college graduate,” she said. “Fast forward a few years to 2010, I got married, time flew, and I had a crazy idea to start looking at college programs again. Last year, I worked for an organization that would pay for my tuition if I committed to stay with them for two years after I was finished. I’d worked for the company for years and had never taken advantage of the Full Tuition Reimbursement Program.

“In the fall of 2022, I decided to take the chance and talk to an advisor at RSU about the potential for me to start classes in the spring of 2023,” she said. “I talked to the advisor at the RSU Bartlesville location, and I had the opportunity to enroll on the spot. I was so grateful to the advisor for that because if I hadn’t enrolled then, I don’t think I would have because I was scared. It was easier to think about how my tuition would be paid for, so I didn’t have to worry about the financial aspect of going back to school after 15 years of not being in school.”

Snelson said she told her advisor that she set a goal for herself to graduate with her degree by the time she was 35 – a goal which was only 18 months away.

Although her situation changed to disallow her from being eligible for full tuition reimbursement, with the support of her husband and scholarships from RSU, she was able to complete her education and achieved her goal when she graduated from RSU in the spring 2024 semester with a degree in organizational leadership.

“I couldn’t have made it through without the RSU Foundation and gracious donors, like all of you today,” she said. “To be a success in life, you must have a strong support system. Getting my college degree was something I didn’t think I would be able to get, but I had a strong support system behind me, cheering me on. Thank you all for helping me and helping future students. I appreciate you guys.”

Valencia then thanked Snelson and reiterated the impact RSU graduates have in the workforce and the world, made possible through the work of the Foundation and its supporters, and the generosity of donors.

At Rogers State University’s Bartlesville campus, students may complete requirements for a Bachelor of Science in business administration with options in management, accounting, and finance, as well as associate degree options in business administration, accounting, elementary education, secondary education, social science – psychology, and liberal arts – general, and more.

For more information about program and scholarship options at RSU’s Bartlesville campus, visit

For more information about the RSU Foundation, visit