Heath Peterson, president of the KU Alumni Association, presented a check to KU’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund at halftime of the Jan. 27 KU men’s basketball game. The check represented a portion of membership dues during KU Cares Month of Service in November. The announcement read at halftime is below. Thank you to everyone who participated in KU Cares Month of Service.
“The KU Alumni Association is proud to share the results of its first KU Cares Month of Service, a new campaign encouraging Jayhawks to give back to their communities. Last November, more than 130 volunteers from 16 alumni networks nationwide donated their time and treasure to help those in need.
In addition, the Association donated $5,500 in membership dues in November to the Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to military service members, veterans, primary caregivers and surviving spouses or children who want to attend KU.
Please join us in welcoming Alumni Association President Heath Peterson as he presents a check to KU alumnus and retired Marine Corps colonel Mike Denning, director of KU’s office of graduate military studies and president of the KU Veterans Alumni Network. With Mike is Maria Santiago, a pre-engineering student who served as a Marine in 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California, and her daughter, Ashley. Maria deployed to Iraq in 2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom when Ashley was only 9 months old. Maria is one of eight KU students to receive a Wounded Warrior Scholarship for the 2017-’18 academic year.”
The University of Kansas’ Office of Graduate Military Programs has announced that eight students have received the university’s Wounded Warrior Scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year. Recipients of the scholarships receive up to $10,000 per year and are renewable for up to four academic years.
The scholarships assist injured veterans and affected family members in meeting the financial challenges associated with pursuing a college degree. The many donations made to the KU Endowment to benefit the KU Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund make these scholarships possible.
This year’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship (WWS) recipients:
Joshua Blake received the KU Keener Foundation WWS. Blake is a native of Larned and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps days after the 9/11 attacks. He served four years as an infantryman, including two deployments to Iraq. In 2004, while serving on his second combat tour, Blake was wounded by an IED while on a dismounted patrol in Ramadi, for which he received the Purple Heart. Josh Blake and his wife, Lacey live in Baldwin City and have five children. He is currently a junior in architectural studies.
Luke Dercher is a KU WWS recipient. Dercher is a native of Bonner Springs and served in the U.S. Navy as a Seabee for five years, attaining the rank of E-5, second class petty officer. While in training as a Navy diver candidate, Dercher received injuries that resulted in him being medically discharged from the Navy. He subsequently returned to the Lawrence area to be close to family, rehabilitate from his injuries and attend KU. Dercher is a currently a junior in computer science and has already worked for the Navy, Garmin and NASA as a software engineer.
Arnold Dinh is a Vietnamese-American who grew up in Liberal. Dinh is the recipient of the Heart of America Patriot Foundation WWS and the Delbert Moore Family WWS. He served two combat tours of duty with the 1st Division, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines in Afghanistan as an infantryman and sniper team member. Following his second tour, Dinh was honorably discharged from the USMC but still suffers the physical and psychological injuries he sustained in war. Dinh is a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology and following graduation plans to attend dental school.
Jimmy Gentile is a native of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and the recipient of a KU WWS. Gentile served with the 2ndBattalion, 4th Marines in Ramadi, Iraq, as part of the 31stMarine Expeditionary Unit. On April 6, 2004, during the Battle of Ramadi, Gentile was shot in the face by an AK-47 round that severed a carotid artery. He evacuated off the battlefield for lifesaving surgery in Iraq, then to Germany and eventually to Bethesda Naval Hospital. The combat wounds have resulted in 41 surgeries and caused him to speak openly about his injury and his faith. Gentile is a second-year graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in information technology. He and his wife, Megan, have four children and currently live in Lee’s Summit.
Timothy Hornik is the recipient of the Bill and Shanthi Eckert WWS at KU. Hornik is a native of Chicago, a retired U.S. Army captain and the CEO of Blind Not Alone LLC. In 2004, while serving in Iraq as an Air Defense Artillery platoon leader, he was shot in the head and consequently blinded. Despite his injuries, Hornik obtained a master’s degree in social work from KU in 2010 and is currently pursuing a doctorate in therapeutic science at the KU Medical Center. He plans to use his degree, along with his considerable social work case management experience, to assist and advocate for disabled veterans. Hornik, his wife, Cate, and their two daughters live in Lawrence.
Mackenzie Istook received the Heart of America Patriot Foundation WWS at KU. Istook is a third-generation Jayhawk, with her mother and two grandparents attending KU before her. She is a self-described “Army brat” and has lived in seven different states, three foreign countries and attended nine different K-12 schools. Istook’s stepfather, Sgt. First Class Jonathan Tessar, a Green Beret, was killed Oct. 31, 2005, by an IED, along with three other soldiers, on a mission southwest of Baghdad, Iraq. Her mother has since remarried, and her stepfather and two older siblings currently serve in the military. Istook is a junior at KU majoring in visual arts with a minor in business. She remains active in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and with her coursework.
Corey Leach is the recipient of the KAMO Adventures WWS and the Paul & Donna Peters WWS. Leach grew up in Olathe and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2011. While on a foot patrol in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, he stepped into an IED blast zone and suffered severe injuries to his neck, vocal cords, left eye, shoulders and left leg. After completing extensive rehabilitation, Leach was medically retired from the Army in 2014 and entered KU. He is majoring in exercise science and is determined to reach his goal of becoming a physical therapist and working with veterans and athletes.
Maria Santiago is originally from Puerto Rico and the recipient of a KU WWS, the Kansas Military Scholarship and KU Nontraditional Student Scholarship. Santiago served as a Marine in 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California. In June of 2008, Santiago deployed to Iraq when her daughter was 9 months old. Santiago served as a member of a female search team based out of Al-Taqaddum, Iraq. During her deployment, she witnessed and experienced the tragedies of the war across Iraq, and they left lasting scars. Following her honorable discharge from the USMC, Maria decided to attend KU where she is currently a pre-aerospace engineering student with a minor in Spanish. Santiago and her daughter Ashley, age 9, currently reside in Shawnee.
The Office of Graduate Military Programs established the Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund in 2012 through KU Endowment. The first two scholarships were awarded for the 2013-2014 academic year.
“The ability to offer eight scholarships this year clearly demonstrates the dedication the university, its alumni and our local community to our military veterans,” said Randy Masten, the assistant director of Graduate Military Programs.
The scholarships honor the unique sacrifices that service members and their families make while securing our freedoms, according to Mike Denning, director of the Office of Graduate Military Programs.
“We are grateful to our donors who continue to invest in these extraordinary young men and women,” he said. “And we are proud of a university that continues to distinguish itself by its unparalleled support to our service members, veterans and their families.”
Photo, from left: Josh Blake, Mackenzie Istook, Corey Leach, Arnold Dinh, Jimmy Gentile, Tim Hornik, Maria Santiago and Luke Dercher.
The first KU Cares Month of Service initiative will take place throughout the month of November. Jayhawks everywhere can organize service projects and recruit volunteers to serve meals, help with yard work, build homes and more to help improve their communities. In addition, a portion of all KU Alumni Association dues paid in November will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund. Join, renew, or upgrade your membership to participate in this initiative!
Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the University Women’s Club scholarships!
The recipients are Anissa Martinez, a graduate student in the higher education administration program; Kelsey Hagan, a doctoral student in clinical psychology; Chandler Sloan, sophomore in mechanical engineering; Rebekah Burgweger, a junior majoring in political science and global studies and minoring in Middle Easter Studies; and Mariela Mosquera Renteria, a doctoral student in the environmental microbiology and chemistry laboratory.
The University Women’s Club has awarded scholarships annual to assist women students at KU for the past 102 years. The scholarship program is the longest-running continuous scholarship program at the University of Kansas.
Membership in the University Women’s Club is open to female graduates of KU, as well as spouses and faculty from other universities. UWC members attend monthly luncheons and programs, and they contribute their time and talents to the University and the Lawrence community through service projects.
Now in its 10th year, the iModules Scholarship Program annually provides individual financial scholarships to eligible students enrolled in secondary or higher education institutions that are current iModules clients.
The KU Alumni Association is a partner of the Leawood-based company, so students who will attend the university during the 2017-18 school year are eligible to apply.
The company will award 17 scholarships in the amount of $1,500 each.
Full-time student for the Fall 2017 semester
Attending or will be attending a school that is an iModules client for Fall 2017
More than 40 out-of-state Jayhawks gathered Wednesday evening to celebrate a shared success on the Hill: the Jayhawk Generation scholarship.
“The goal of the Jayhawk Generations scholarship is simple: to give legacy students as much assistance as possible to carry on the KU tradition and further enrich the unparalleled atmosphere we have here on Jayhawk Boulevard,” says Joy Maxwell, c’03, j’03, director of legacy relations for the Alumni Association.
Brenna Murray, a senior English literature major from St. Robert, Missouri, says that receiving the scholarship has made a huge impact in her life. “The grant has helped me create many experiences during my time here at KU,” she says. “I have studied abroad and enjoyed internships because the resources were there through the Jayhawk Generations scholarship.”
Maxwell explains that students receiving the scholarship are huge assets to the University. “These students retain well,” she says. “They have excellent graduation rates, and they bring an out-of-state perspective into our classrooms, which only helps to diversify and grow the campus as a whole.”
The Jayhawk Generations scholarship assists out-of-state students who have a parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, great-grandparent or legal guardian who graduated from the University of Kansas. To quality for the partial tuition waiver, incoming freshman students must meet specific requirements for grade point average and ACT or SAT scores. Renewal scholarship criteria for current KU students are based on grade point average and credit hours.
Watch our slideshow below to see more pictures from the recognition dinner, or click here to view the photos on Flickr.
Know any KU students who could use extra money for school?
The iModules Scholarship Program can help. Now in its ninth year, the program will award 17 scholarships of $1,500 each for the 2016-17 school year to students of iModules client institutions. The Alumni Association is a client of the Overland Park-based technology company, so students who will attend KU during the upcoming school year are eligible to apply.
Full-time student for fall 2016
Attending a school that is an iModules client
A minimum “C” grade point average
High school, college, graduate and postgraduate students are welcome to apply
Students from 17 states gathered last week for a Jayhawk Generations scholarship dinner and reception at Adams Alumni Center. Each scholarship recipient was recognized by class, name and field of study and was given a KU license plate frame and gift card to the KU bookstore. Camille Nyberg, c’96, g’98, national chair of the Alumni Association’s board of directors, also attended.
“The recipients of this scholarship are involved, hardworking and grateful for the opportunity to study at KU,” says Joy Maxwell, c’03, j’03, director of legacy relations for the Alumni Association. “It’s a financial plus and an honor to receive and retain this scholarship.”
Spencer Hartley, a senior in American studies and communication studies from Kansas City, Missouri, participated in the event and spoke briefly to the younger students. “Do your work and use all the resources the University provides to you,” he advised. “This Jayhawk Generations scholarship helped me to make my decision final to come to KU. So do your best to keep it because it’s a good opportunity.”
The Jayhawk Generations scholarship assists out-of-state students who have a parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, great-grandparent or legal guardian who graduated from the University of Kansas. To quality for the partial tuition waiver, incoming freshman students must meet specific requirements for grade point average and ACT or SAT scores; renewal scholarship criteria for current KU students are based on grade point average and credit hours.
There are 289 Jayhawk Generations scholars currently on campus.
Fifth-generation KU freshman Marlow Reese, from Brentwood, Tenn., acknowledges that her family tradition strongly influenced her choice of KU. But the deciding factor? “The Alumni Association,” she says. “I received a lot of personal attention throughout the recruitment process, and it really helped.”
Another helpful nudge came in the form of a Jayhawk Generations Scholarship, KU’s four-year, renewable partial tuition waivers for academically qualifying out-of-state students from Jayhawk families. To celebrate the fifth year of the program, the Association hosted a dinner Oct. 29 for 65 Jayhawk Generations Scholars from 19 states. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and Association President Kevin Corbett, c’88, greeted the students, and Joy Maxwell, c’03, j’03, the Association’s director of legacy relations, introduced each student and shared the history of the legacy scholarship, which the Association and KU leaders created in 2009 with approval from the Kansas Legislature. “The goal was very simple,” she explained, “ to give legacy students as much assistance as possible to carry on the KU tradition. You see, the KU Alumni Association wants you here just as much as your parents or grandparents do.” She urged the students to become involved in the Student Alumni Association, which offers opportunities for students to connect with alumni: “It’s never too early to begin networking,” she said.
The Association hosts a dinner each fall for the scholars; 218 are on campus this year. Since fall 2009, the program has steadily grown, from 43 freshman scholars in 2009 to 134 freshman recipients in fall 2013. The deadline for fall 2014 scholarship consideration has been extended to Nov. 8.