RSU’s Hillcat Heroes Fund Assisted Students Through Pandemic

Students in lobby of Baird Hall

Students First. It’s not just Rogers State University’s mantra, but an action of commitment and service. 

The RSU Foundation established the Hillcat Heroes fund in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund provided urgent one-time financial assistance for current students who suffered severe economic, medical or similar hardships.

“Generous donors, our heroes, stepped up in a time of uncertainty for our students. We are grateful for their service, dedication and commitment. They helped us put students first as we navigated the unprecedented changes during the spring semester,” Steve Valencia, vice president for development and foundation, said.

More than $52,000 was raised and 255 students were served through generous donations. Before the CARES grant became available, the Hillcat Heroes fund assisted students with moving and storage costs, online learning materials, proctored exams and technology.

“The rapid pace of this growing pandemic had a very real impact on our students. Students lost their jobs and incomes, their ability to travel home and in some cases loss of support from home. The fund made it possible for us to provide for their needs. Our generous donors are truly heroes in the eyes of our students and university stakeholders,” Dr. Robert Goltra III, vice president for student affairs, said.   

Several RSU students wrote personal letters of thanks and appreciation in response to the generosity of others. Brittany Toby received assistance and was relieved to continue her education.

“Because of the assistance, I am optimistic I will be able to pay the remaining amount on my student account in time to graduate in December. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all involved with making this funding available to my family,” Toby said.

Kris Galloway-Perry also received assistance from the Hillcat Heroes fund and will forever be grateful to RSU.

“I am more than proud to call myself a future RSU graduate,” Galloway-Perry said.

The RSU Foundation is a 501c3 organization dedicated to supporting the educational mission of the university through private gifts. The foundation was established in 1973. The Foundation and Office of Development work closely together to maximize he support of higher education.

To support RSU students through several giving methods, visit