Turing tragedy into triumph

Memorial scholarship created for Giving Tuesday boosts students and their families

New Mexico State University’s first-ever Giving Tuesday event on Dec. 1, 2015, was a huge fundraising success, but that occasion was tinged with sadness for many at the university who had lost their friend, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences graduate Hannah Farbo, just the week before following a tragic auto accident.

Farbo’s parents and her best friend, Colleen Payne, took some comfort in establishing a scholarship in her honor to benefit students who shared her passion for horses and New Mexico agriculture. They created the Hannah Farbo Memorial Endowed Scholarship with an initial $13,000 in funds gathered from friends and family for Giving Tuesday, and matched dollar-for-dollar by the NMSU Foundation to create an endowed fund.

The scholarship is already making an impact in the lives of three students in the College of ACES who have received it so far. The first recipient, Alexandria Claycomb, a junior from Albuquerque majoring in animal science, said receiving the scholarship meant the world to her and her mother.

“I was honored to receive such a special scholarship created in loving memory of a successful, admirable, beautiful girl who was taken too soon,” Claycomb says.

The scholarship helped Claycomb’s family by offsetting tuition costs at a crucial time, when her mother, Giovanna Eisberg, was in school herself, working toward her Ph.D.

“I am now proud to call my mom Dr. Eisberg,” Claycomb says. “Thank you for not only granting me a scholarship, but one that truly touched my heart.”

Amanda Bradford ’03 

Best friends Colleen Payne, left, and Hannah Farbo celebrate their NMSU graduation. Farbo passed away in 2015, and Payne worked with Farbo’s parents to established an endowed scholarship in her memory.