Claiborne Pell, November 22, 1918–January 1, 2009)

160px claibornepell Claiborne Pell, November 22, 1918–January 1, 2009)A name many probably don’t know, even if their college career was most likely subsidized by him. He is the man behind the Pell Grant.

Claiborne Pell, the quirky blueblood who represented blue-collar Rhode Island in the U.S. Senate for 36 years and was the force behind a grant program that has helped tens of millions of Americans attend college, died Thursday after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 90.

I attended various colleges for nearly 15 years, which would not have been possible without the Pell Grant and Belle Zeller Scholarship. As long as I didn’t actually graduate, Pell kept paying. So I just kept going. I ended up with over 400 credits. I finally decided to graduate in 1995 because I was moving to Maryland from NYC and wouldn’t have several dozen colleges to choose from any given semester. So, to you Clairborne Pell, I say THANK YOU.
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