Three Rivers Alum Creates Endowed Scholarship in Honor of her Grandmother

Norwich, CT –Three Rivers Community College Director of Student Activities Alycia Ziegler recently established The Blanche Berté Illenberg Memorial Scholarship in honor of her grandmother.  Alycia explained that although her grandmother had only a high school diploma, she always advocated for education and continuously supported Alycia along her own educational journey. This new scholarship will be managed by the Three Rivers College Foundation.

Blanche Berté Illenberg spent her entire life giving to others and 20 of years of her career working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. Some of Alycia’s earliest memories of her grandmother were of her welcoming people into her home over the holidays. In addition to a career in public service, Blanche was a volunteer EMT & EMT instructor and a member of her local orchid society. She survived lymphoma three times, and Alycia believes that this was a contributing factor to her grandmother’s passion for helping others around her.

Alycia received her associate degree from Three Rivers and understands the positive impact that financial support can have on a student’s life. Three Rivers is an institution that values community and because Blanche shared these same values, Alycia felt that establishing an endowed scholarship was the best way to honor her grandmother. A guiding principle that Blanche repeated to Alycia that helped shape her into the person that she is today is that “helping people in need is not giving a hand out, it is giving a hand up.” Alycia plans to increase this endowment to the point that it will provide a deserving student with a full tuition and fees scholarship.  

For more information about scholarships and to see the full scope of what Three Rivers Community College and the TRC Foundation has to offer, visit or call 860-215-9043.

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The Three Rivers College Foundation is a non-profit charitable educational foundation, incorporated under the laws of the State of Connecticut and granted 501 (C) (3) tax-deductible status by the IRS. Its purpose is to support the educational efforts of the College, the staff, and the faculty. In this role, it performs many functions for the College. To learn more about the TRC Foundation, visit