Looking up on Wabash Avenue
"An infusion of nearly $34 million in new scholarship dollars is historic for the University and beneficial to our students." Ali Malekzadeh President of Roosevelt University

On the heels of receiving its largest gift of $25 million last year, Roosevelt University is the beneficiary of nearly $17 million in major gifts and grants during 2017.

A $6.84 million gift for Roosevelt’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) and nearly $5 million from three federal grants for new programs/scholarships are a few highlights of the successful year for fundraising at Roosevelt University.

“We are grateful that so many see the value of a Roosevelt education, and are investing generously in the future of our students,” said Roosevelt President Ali Malekzadeh, who has made fundraising a priority since his arrival in 2015.

More than $9 million, which is the lion’s share of this year’s generous giving, coupled with last year’s record $25 million gift, is for student scholarships.

"An infusion of nearly $34 million in new scholarship dollars is historic for the University and beneficial to our students,” said Malekzadeh, who made the announcement just ahead of observance of the nation’s Nov. 28 Day of Giving.

The many new scholarship opportunities will enhance Roosevelt’s recruitment and retention efforts, allowing the University, which recently has been  ranked the third most racially diverse private institution in the Midwest, to continue its mission of serving a diverse student body, including students from under-represented groups and those 45 percent of current University students who are the first in their families to go to college.

“Scholarships will be a foundation for growth at Roosevelt in both programming and enrollments and will make the University even more accessible to students, who, regardless of economic background, will get a chance to take advantage of the University’s prime locations, small class sizes and social justice orientation.”

Recent gifts of note include:

  • $6.84 million for CCPA scholarships, program enhancements and facility improvements from donor Gloria Miner, whose siblings include late Oracle founder Robert Miner and late Roosevelt alumna Florence Miner (BGS, ’83);
  • $2 million from an anonymous foundation for scholarships that will support community college students transferring to Roosevelt’s College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, CCPA and the Heller College of Business;
  • $1.04 million from the Clearing Corporation Charitable Foundation for a continuing fellows program and the start-up of an honors program in the Heller College of Business;
  • $1 million from The Davee Foundation for a new CCPA scholarship program that will pave the way for a competitive full-ride scholarship for tuition, room and board for a performing arts student annually;
  • $500,000 from retired North Chicago schoolteacher, Pearl Harbor veteran and Roosevelt graduate Joseph (MA, ’69) and Katherine Triolo for scholarships for students in Roosevelt’s College of Education.

These major gifts to the University follow last year’s celebrated $25 million gift for student scholarships from the estate of Rosaline Cohn, who died in 2010 at the age of 96.  

“We are in the process of building a stronger Roosevelt, and are grateful for a transformative year of giving to the University,” said Roosevelt Vice President for Institutional Advancement Don Jones, who joined the University in 2016, realigning fundraising to focus sharply on scholarship funding.

In addition to generous gifts, Roosevelt has secured several major federal grants in 2017, paving the way for new programming for students who will be eligible for scholarships and stipends.  They include:

  • $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education for the Illinois Dual Language Teacher Leadership Program, which will prepare 152 of the region’s teachers over the next five years for leading classrooms and dual-language programs in English and a second language, typically Spanish.  Roosevelt’s partners in the new program include the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Addison School District 4, Wood Dale School District 7, Schaumburg School District 54 and Community Consolidated School District 59 in Arlington Heights, Illinois.   The grant includes nearly $1.2 million in student scholarships.
  • $1.4 million, including $800,000 in scholarships, from the National Science Foundation for the Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program that will prepare undergraduate and graduate students to teach math and science in schools where teacher turnover is high.  Roosevelt’s partners in the initiative include the Chicago Public Schools, Oakton Community College and The Field Museum.
  • $1.2 million from the U.S. Department of Education for a McNair Scholars Program that will prepare students from under-represented segments of society over five years for graduate school and entry into PhD programs.

“Our goal is to enhance the University’s reputation for innovation, serve real needs in our community and give students the financial support they need to get through college,” said Roosevelt Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Lois Becker, who is leading an overhaul of all University programs and courses, including the University’s general education requirements. 

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