Students First Scholarship Luncheon 2011
Columbia College Chicago's inaugural Students First Scholarship Luncheon on December 6 brought together donors and scholarship recipients for the first time for an afternoon of recognition.
Guests were greeted by the music of the Student Jazz Ensemble and student vocalist Lashera Moore. Scholarship recipient Chelsea Middendorf, a senior fashion studies major, provided an introduction to the lunch, thanking donors and discussing how her scholarship helped her to afford textbooks, allowing her to focus more on school and worry less about money. Senior graphic design major Serafin Lopez, also a scholarship recipient, spoke about the wonderful experiences he’s been able to have at Columbia as a result of his scholarship.
Lunch was followed by an award presentation to scholarship supporters in three categories: Outstanding Corporation, Outstanding Foundation and Outstanding Individual. Columbia College Chicago President Warrick L. Carter, Chairman of the Board Allen M. Turner, VP of Student Affairs Mark Kelly and VP of Institutional Advancement Eric V.A. Winston spoke about the importance of donors in each of the categories, and presented the three awards.
Northern Trust Corporation was presented with the Students First Outstanding Corporation award, which was accepted by Deborah Liverett, senior vice president and director of community affairs. Northern Trust helped fund the Career Beginnings Project that prepared local high school students to enter college, and later founded the Retention Award Scholarship to assist Chicago Public Schools graduates in danger of withdrawing from Columbia College due to financial pressures.
Introducing the award for Northern Trust, Dr. Carter said, “We are so proud of the diversity here at Columbia College Chicago, and these scholarships ensure that diversity can continue, offering students who may not have been able to come here, a chance to pursue their passion…”
McCormick Foundation received the Students First Outstanding Foundation award, which was accepted by Don Cooke, senior vice president of philanthropy. The McCormick-Tribune Endowed Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to assist Chicago Public School graduates with tuition and fees while at Columbia College.
“I’d say the arts are essential to America, our future, our jobs and our quality of life,” said Cooke. “We’re really pleased to be able to help the students who will make a difference in the future.”
Diane Dammeyer, who recently created and funded Columbia’s first full-ride scholarship, received the Students First Outstanding Individual award. The Diane Dammeyer Scholarship, for Students wanting to make a difference through the Arts and Communications, was established by the alumna to encourage students to find creative ways to help a nonprofit organization better realize its goals.
Accepting her award, Dammeyer said, “Columbia has given me, at a late point in my life, a whole new life. And I hope this scholarship will do the same for the students who receive it.”
*Photos by Kristopher Wade-Matthews ('12) & Sara Mays ('12)