Jim and Kathy Haymaker have created a scholarship in honor of Dean Amit Chakrabarti’s late father named the “Raghunath Chakrabarti Dare to Dream Scholarship.”
While at the Johnson Cancer Research Center banquet last spring, Kathy and Jim Haymaker had the chance to talk with Amit Chakrabarti, K-State’s dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, about a variety of different topics. What caught the Haymakers attention was Amit’s clear passion for first-generation students who do not have the funding to continue their education into their second, third or fourth year. Kathy and Jim have a longstanding interest in trying to help in-need community members with their education in the hope of providing a needed boost at the right time for a student to succeed.
Jim recalled a prior experience of having breakfast with Amit and hearing about his upbringing in India. “Amit began to speak of his father with such a degree of reverence and respect that it held me spellbound. I believe he said that his father; even though he was not highly educated— was the smartest man he had ever met — this coming from a physicist, former head of that department and newly appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. I came away very touched by that story and described it to Kathy.” Jim said.
This particular memory stuck with Jim and his wife until they were reunited with Amit at the banquet. With that memory in mind, the opportunity to help students and honor Amit’s late father could not be passed up by the Haymakers. They decided to provide a $100,000 scholarship toward this purpose. Kathy suggested the scholarship should be in Amit’s late father’s name, so it is named the Raghunath Chakrabarti Dare to Dream Scholarship.
“We named this the Dare to Dream Scholarship in the spirit of these young, often first-generation, college students who are pursuing their dream and often the dream of their family, to earn a college education and have a chance to improve the economic prospects for themselves and those who helped them get there,” the Haymakers said.
Jim and Kathy hope the funds from the scholarship will provide the necessary extra income to students who are struggling to make ends meet, allowing them to stay in school and graduate. “These students will form part of a society that carries this country into the future and we have every belief they will make K-State proud,” Jim said. “We hope that others will be inspired by Amit’s story and his father and mother’s example as a kind of beacon for those who dare to dream and just need a bit of extra help to make it a reality. We all have a chance to ‘pay it forward’ and what a worthy cause this is!”
Amit was very heartened by this very generous gift. “The Haymakers are terrific, kind and generous people. People like them make this world go round,” Amit said. When Amit was first told of this gift, he was stunned and still does not have the words to describe how much this means to him as well as his family. Amit made a comment to Jim about how he wished his parents, Hasi and Raghunath were still here to see this. Jim replied with “They are here today, they are always here in spirit.” Amit called his sister in New Jersey and she immediately started crying when he told her the news. “Neither of my parents went to college and we did not have a lot of financial resources. But education was of utmost importance in our household,” Amit said. “Not just for me and my sister, but any local kids who might have trouble buying books or supplies, my parents would always help them even with the limited resources we had.”
Amit hopes this scholarship helps to impact the K-State community. By seeing someone finish college, it helps others believe that they can do it as well. This scholarship is not just helping three or four students get their education, it is helping first-generation students achieve an education, which opens the way for following generations.
“The scholarship will also affect other donors and help them to see what is important to college, society and the state of Kansas. They will think of the impact they can make” Amit said. “Kathy and Jim have set the bar high to challenge the K-State family. The Haymakers are helping students achieve their dream, as well as challenging others at the same time to come and participate and support other students who dare to dream.”