About the Perseverance Fund
The Perseverance Fund was created by the EMBA Class of 2009 and dedicated to their classmate Paul Cravens. Paul’s personal journey before and during his graduate experience inspired his classmates to create a fund that would recognize a classmate who embodied Paul’s character. For the classes of ’08 and ’09, Paul was a selfless, caring, and determined friend who inspired others as a man of integrity, compassion and resilience. Paul began the EMBA Program in 2006 but months into the program lost his home in a house fire. Undaunted, he rebuilt his home himself and returned to the program in 2007. As a classmate, Paul was unfailingly kind, always supportive and led with joy and fun. Throughout his life, Paul has been defined by resilience and humility. As the sole survivor of a Christmas Eve 1992 car accident that claimed the lives of his wife and step children and dominated headlines across the state, Paul became a powerful symbol of needed change in drunken driving laws in New Mexico. He went on to help catalyze a statewide movement that prompted a sea change in the way New Mexico combats drunken driving. To honor Paul’s example and to encourage fellow EMBA classes to support one another, the Perseverance Fund Award is awarded annually to a second-year student chosen by a group of his or her peers who embodies the spirit of the award.
“Being selected as the Perseverance Fund Recipient was a testament to my determination on completing my degree and a completely humbling experience. My desire for a higher education is owed to my husband, daughters, and dear friend Angela. I was not able to continue school upon the graduation of high school and started a family at a very young age; therefore, at the ripe age of forty-seven years old, I will be the first in my family to accomplish a graduate level degree. My persistence has definitely had a positive reflection on my daughters and to be a role model for them is the most satisfying aspect of this entire experience!”
- Luanna Garcia, Recipient of the 2013 Perseverance Scholarship