The 65th annual Evans Scholars Winter Meeting, held Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, featured addresses by the outgoing 15 Evans Scholars chapter presidents and the results of the New Scholar Academic Competition.
The Roland F. “Mac” McGuigan Academic Trophy was awarded to the New Scholar class from the University of Oregon for earning an outstanding 3.6 cumulative GPA for the fall 2016 semester. The Oregon chapter is the Program’s newest Evans Scholars chapter, with students moving into their first Scholarship House in Eugene this past fall.
The annual grade competition recognizes each Evans Scholars chapter whose New Scholar (freshmen) class achieves above a cumulative 3.0 GPA for the fall semester. The class with the highest GPA wins the Program’s coveted Roland F. “Mac” McGuigan Trophy, named in honor of the Evans Scholars Program’s legendary educational director, who served in his role for 40 years.
Several other New Scholar classes finished with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher and received a certificate for their achievement. Those chapters were (in alphabetical order): Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Marquette, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin.
Following the morning meeting, the newly elected leaders from each chapter participated in workshop sessions to exchange ideas and best practices. Then the annual Evans Scholars basketball tournament was held in the afternoon at the University of Illinois Chicago recreation center. The Evans Scholars from the University of Wisconsin bested the field with both their men’s and women’s teams taking first place in their respective matches. The Evans Scholars Golf Ball dance was held that night at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
The Evans Scholars Program is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies. This year, 935 students are enrolled as 20 universities, including 15 where the Evans Scholars Foundation operates a Scholarship House. More than 10,400 men and women have graduated as Evans Scholars.
Leadership Council Board Meeting Outlines Plans for 2017
The Evans Scholars Foundation’s Leadership Council hosted its 4th Annual Board Meeting on Thursday, January 26, at Lockton in downtown Chicago, kicking off another year of work on behalf of the Evans Scholars Program.
After recognizing the Leadership Council’s 14 new members — bringing the total membership to 128 Evans Scholars Alumni and non-Alumni — outgoing President Kevin Scott (Marq. ’10) introduced new President Mary Moran (Marq. ’12). Moran has a background in advertising as a sales service executive for Viacom.
She will lead an executive board that includes Vice President of Fundraising Kyle Cash (Mich. ’13), Vice President of Membership Adam Kucharski and Vice President of Mentorship Alex Laios.
"Member engagement will be the main focus of the new executive board," Moran said. "Our predecessors have laid a solid foundation, and now it is up to us to grow and strengthen our programs and events by encouraging our members and presenting them with leadership opportunities. We're the Leadership Council — every member is a leader."
The Leadership Council is the Western Golf Association’s board of young professionals, who serve as ambassadors for the Evans Scholars Program through fundraising and Evans Scholar mentoring. The council’s annual meeting covered a wide range of topics, including its signature event — the Birdie Ball.
The 4th Annual Birdie Ball will be held at Lincoln Hall in Chicago on Saturday, April 29, 2017. Last year’s event raised more than $44,000 for the Evans Scholars Foundation, allowing the event to surpass $100,000 in support since its inception in 2014.
Executive board members also outlined plans to continue adding members and strengthening the council’s Mentorship Program for Evans Scholars in 2017. Nearly 200 active Scholars were paired with mentors in 2016, part of the Evans Scholars Foundation’s efforts to prepare students for life after graduation.
About the Leadership Council
The Leadership Council was formed in 2013 with a goal of bringing together a diverse, young group of emerging business and civic leaders for networking and professional development opportunities. Members, who are between the ages of 25-40 and mostly live in the Chicago area, serve as ambassadors for the Evans Scholars Foundation through fundraising and Scholar mentoring.
Golf, Illinois (Nov. 29, 2016) – Strong support from Indiana golf fans, Crooked Stick Golf Club and BMW helped the 2016 BMW Championship raise $2.8 million for the event’s sole charity, the Evans Scholars Foundation.
Conducted by the Western Golf Association, the 2016 BMW Championship attracted more than 120,000 spectators to Crooked Stick from September 6-11 to see the PGA TOUR’s best compete in the penultimate event of the FedExCup Playoffs. All proceeds from the BMW Championship help support the Evans Scholars Foundation’s mission of sending deserving caddies to college. Since 2007, the BMW Championship has raised $24.4 million for the Evans Scholars Foundation.
Evans Scholars and Evans Scholars Alumni were featured prominently throughout tournament week. Current Scholars and Alumni – some of whom graduated from college decades ago – worked as caddies in Monday’s Evans Scholars Cup and Wednesday’s playing of the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am. Scholars and Alumni donated their tips back to the Evans Scholars Program and helped raise more than $1 million.
Evans Scholars also interacted with spectators at a putting challenge inside the BMW Experience, and were introduced between tee times for the final groups on Saturday and Sunday. Purdue Evans Scholars David Fahnbulleh and Hayden Bauschka were featured in television segments produced by NBC and Golf Channel that exposed millions of golf fans worldwide to the Program and its mission. Bauschka received his full tuition and housing Evans Scholarship as a result of Jordan Spieth’s hole-in-one during the 2015 BMW Championship.
“We are proud to once again contribute to a cause that does so much good for so many deserving caddies and their families,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA Senior Vice President of Tournaments. “The tremendous support we received from Indiana golf fans and the local and regional corporate communities helps ensure the Evans Scholars Foundation is able to continue awarding full tuition and housing scholarships to young men and women.”
“For 10 years now, it has been an honor to support the Evans Scholars Foundation,” said Trudy Hardy, Vice President of Marketing, and BMW of North America. “It’s extremely gratifying to know that so many deserving young men and women will be afforded the opportunity to continue their education thanks to the $2.8 million raised during the 2016 BMW Championship.”
The 2017 BMW Championship is set for September 12-17 at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.
GOLF, IL – Ten Chicago-area high school seniors have been awarded the Evans Scholarship, a full, four-year housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies, following a final selection interview held at Skokie Country Club in Glencoe on Nov. 10.
Each caddie has a unique story to tell, reflecting the scholarship’s four selection criteria: a strong caddie record; excellent academics; demonstrated financial need; and outstanding character. They will begin college in the fall of 2017, with awarded universities to be determined this spring. The scholarship is valued at more than $100,000 over four years.
Recipients include: Elizabeth Sandoval, Vernon Hills (Skokie Country Club, Vernon Hills High School); Marco Torres, Berwyn (Skokie Country Club, Fenwick High School); Christopher Novo, Chicago (Northmoor Country Club, Loyola Academy); Steven Rayzman, Vernon Hills (Exmoor Country Club, Lake Forest Academy); Melina Scofield, Cicero (Glen Club, Cristo Rey Jesuit); Mark Rinaolo, Lake Forest (Conway Farms Golf Club, Lake Forest High School); Ashweita Ajith, Skokie (Evanston Golf Club, Niles West High School); Elijah Lancaster, Skokie (Evanston Golf Club, Niles West High School); Kaitlyne Diaz, Chicago (Bryn Mawr Country Club, Taft High School); and Donavan Bird, Elgin (Elgin Country Club, Streamwood High School).
“Each of these deserving Evans Scholars epitomizes what our Program has been about since its creation in 1930,” said WGA Chairman David Robinson. “Their dedication, hard work and sacrifice is humbling, and we are honored to be able to help them pursue their dreams.”
The Skokie Country Club selection meeting was the first of more than a dozen such meetings the Evans Scholars Foundation will hold across the country through the spring. When the 2016-17 selection meeting process is completed by April, an estimated 270 caddies are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.
The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Golf, Illinois, has supported the Chick Evans Scholarship Program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. One of golf’s favorite charities, it is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies.
Currently, a record 935 caddies are enrolled in 20 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 10,400 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.
“Based on their excellence in the classroom and their service to their schools and communities, there is little doubt that these young men and women have earned this life-changing opportunity,” said John Kaczkowski, WGA President and CEO. “We welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.”
Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by 28,700 golfers across the country, who are members of the WGA Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $11 million annually, and all proceeds from the BMW Championship, the third of four PGA TOUR Playoff events in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup competition, are donated to the Evans Scholars Foundation.
GOLF, Illinois (November 8, 2016) – The Western Golf Association’s sixth annual Green Coat Gala, held Friday, Nov. 4, at The Peninsula Chicago, raised $900,000 – a record for the event – to help send deserving caddies to college through the Evans Scholars Foundation.
More than 350 Program supporters attended the black-tie affair, which featured the legendary Johnny Miller, a two-time major champion and NBC analyst, as the guest speaker. All proceeds benefit the ESF, a nonprofit administered by the WGA, which provides full college tuition and housing scholarships to caddies. Currently, a record 935 Evans Scholars are attending 20 universities nationwide.
Miller, 69, got his start as a caddie at San Francisco Golf Club. He went on to dominate the PGA TOUR in the mid-1970s, winning 14 PGA TOUR events between 1974 and 1976. He was the PGA TOUR’s leading money-winner and Player of the Year in 1974. At the Gala, veteran NBC/Golf Channel commentator and emcee Mark Rolfing held a “fireside chat” with Miller, where they touched on topics including balancing family and career, his time on the TOUR and how caddying helped grow his love of golf.
Miller also was inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame, which celebrates those who have devoted their lives to the game of golf through caddying or supporting the role of caddies. “My start (caddying) made me fall in love with golf for the rest of my life,” he said.
Notable Caddie Hall of Fame members include Program founder Charles Chick Evans, Jr., Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, actor Bill Murray, Bandon Dunes founder Mike Keiser and Andrew Martinez, who caddied for Johnny Miller for 12 years.
“For Johnny, caddying and his love of golf were intertwined as a youth,” said WGA Chairman David Robinson, upon inducting Miller into the Hall of Fame. “Two memorable things he has shared that should leave no doubt of his caddying skills: One, that in all of those years of caddying, he never lost a ball. And two, that he never caddied for someone he couldn't beat.”
Miller is remembered by most golf fans for his brilliance at the 1973 U.S. Open when he carded a masterful final-round 63 – dubbed “The Miracle at Oakmont” – to capture his first major championship. His score has been matched by only one other player in major championship history. Miller was named lead analyst on NBC Sports’ golf coverage team in 1990 and quickly made his mark as the sport’s most candid commentator. In May 1998, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida.
Zack Sielck was the featured Evans Scholar speaker at the event. A freshman at Purdue University, he caddied at McHenry Country Club in McHenry, Illinois. He shared his story of how the Evans Scholarship and caddying changed his life. Growing up, he bounced from various foster homes before finding a safe haven with his current parents, Brigid and Jason. As he began to heal from childhood wounds, he began caddying – not knowing that it would change his life.
“Caddying is the outlet that restored my confidence, helped me believe in the person I could be and built me up into who I am today,” he shared with the crowd. “I have broken down some of the barriers I built growing up. Earning the Evans Scholarship has allowed me to push my boundaries and strive for more. I am beyond blessed to be a part of the Evans Scholars family – and to finally find a place where I belong.”
Past featured speakers at the Green Coat Gala have included Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Gary Player. The funds raised from the 2016 event will help send caddies to college – at a time when a record number of applicants are applying for the Evans Scholarship. The Evans Scholars Program is expanding from coast to coast, with leaders planning to have 1,000 caddies in school by the year 2020.
“The record-breaking success of the sixth annual Green Coat Gala shows us that the work we are doing to change the lives of bright, young students is more important than ever,” Robinson said. “We are thankful to everyone for their support and dedication of this special event.”
The 2016 event co-chairs included Tim and Stacey Cavanagh, Mick and Karen O’Rourke, Mike and Sharyl Mackey and Bill Rogers.
Oregon Evans Scholars celebrate opening of Scholarship House
Evans Scholars at the University of Oregon celebrated the opening of their Scholarship House – the first in the Pacific Northwest - on Sunday, Oct. 23, along with organization leaders, university officials and other Program friends.
An open house was held at the facility, located at 1910 University Street in Eugene. For the first time, 31 Oregon Scholars are now living in community in a Scholarship House, the first in the Pacific Northwest and the Evans Scholars Program’s first new chapter since 1987. The House has served as a fraternity and more recently, a bed and breakfast.
Event speakers included Jeff Harrison, Senior Vice President, Education, at Evans Scholars Foundation, university official Roger Thompson and Hannah Rice.
WGA Director Dan Harmon was recognized for his generosity to the Scholarship House project.
Rice is the first elected president of the newly formed chapter. In the past year, she has helped lead her fellow Scholars in cleaning the House on weekends and meeting with Program leaders to plan the transition and create the chapter’s infrastructure.
“I have been so inspired by the Evans growth in Oregon,” she has said previously. “We are making history, and I am honored to be able to help build a strong foundation for future classes.”
The opening of the Oregon Evans Scholarship House is one part of the Foundation’s larger goal of having 1,000 Scholars in school by the year 2020. To achieve this, leaders are working to expand the Program from coast to coast, including opening Scholarship Houses at new universities, renovating and expanding current Houses and growing caddie programs across the nation.
Currently, there are a record 935 Scholars attending 20 universities. In recent years, ESF leaders have strengthened or renewed relationships with the University of Notre Dame, the University of Washington, the University of Kansas and Pennsylvania State University, where Scholars currently live together in residence halls. They are working to establish Evans Scholarship Houses at Washington, Penn State and Kansas in the coming years.
Oregon Evans Scholars include caddies from the states of Oregon, Nevada and California. ESF leaders announced in early 2014 that the university had been selected as the site of a future Scholarship House.
“We are thrilled that Evans Scholars in the Pacific Northwest now are able to experience Scholarship House living, an integral component of the Evans Scholarship,” says WGA Chairman David Robinson. “This is a major milestone and a big part of our plan to grow the Evans Scholars Program from coast to coast.”
“The opening of this Evans Scholars House at the University of Oregon is the result of the tireless efforts of many,” said Roger Thompson, Vice President of Enrollment Management with the university. “To say we are thrilled with the House for our Scholars is an understatement. All of us at the UO are deeply appreciative of the impact the Evans Scholars Foundation makes with students.”
The 2016 Match Play Challenge raised more than $11 million to send deserving caddies to college, making it the Evans Scholars Foundation’s most successful major gifts campaign ever.
The latest Match Play Challenge campaign surpassed 2015’s record total of $9.7 million, providing critical funding at a time when families across the country are struggling to save money and pay for college. A generous group of Match Play Partners led the way once again, creating a matching pool of more than $5.2 million with gifts of $50,000 and greater. That pool was used to match the gifts of $2,500 and greater the Evans Scholars Foundation received in 2016.
With a record 935 Evans Scholars enrolled at 20 leading universities for the 2016-17 academic year and a record number of caddies applying for the Evans Scholarship once again, the success of the Match Play Challenge couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We are sincerely grateful to all of our donors for their support of the Match Play Challenge,” said David Robinson, WGA Chairman. “The continued success of these efforts is essential to ensure we meet the needs of all qualified applicants.”
WGA Director Mike Keiser led the way in developing the Match Play Challenge in 2011, and he served as the campaign’s Honorary Chair again in 2016. The total impact of the Match Play Challenge has surpassed $45 million in just six years, allowing the Evans Scholars Foundation to stretch from coast to coast and pursue a WGA Board of Governors mandate to have at least 1,000 Evans Scholars in school, with all Scholars living in community, annually by the year 2020.
The success of the Match Play Challenge has changed the face of the organization and is helping to offset rising scholarship costs. Annual scholarship costs for Evans Scholars were $17.6 million in 2016, a $1 million increase over 2015. That number is projected to jump by at least $1 million each year as the Evans Scholars Foundation pursues its 2020 goal.
In 2017, the Evans Scholars Foundation will continue to expand its geographic footprint and add living capacity to ensure that all deserving candidates have the opportunity to earn the Evans Scholarship. The continued success of the Match Play Challenge in 2017 and beyond will be critical to the organization’s ability to continue awarding full tuition and housing scholarships to deserving caddies with limited financial means.
“If we are to meet the increasing need, we must be successful in raising more tuition dollars through these ever-important major gifts,” said Bill Kingore, Senior Vice President of Development & Strategy. “We must not leave qualified candidates behind.”
For more information on the Match Play Challenge, please contact Bill Kingore at 224-260-3712 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 Match Play Partners
Sam & Marsha Allen
Mary Ann & Looe Baker III
Mr. & Mrs. Michael G. Beemer
Ed & Peggy Bonach
Kenneth & Jacqueline Brody
Fritz & Glenda Corrigan
David & Maura DePrisco
Kathy & Bill Doyle
Elizabeth, Allan & Warren Shelden Fund
Thomas J. & Karen A. Falk
Eugene & Sallyann Fama
Farmer Family Foundation
In Memory of Ellen & Carl H. Flickinger
Jim & Karen Frank
Mr & Mrs. Robert Foss
Jim & Mary Garard
Tom & Taylor Gleitsman
Dan & Kathy Harmon
Dan & Cynthia Helle
Martin P. & Julie Hughes
Steve & Michele Johnston
Mark A. Kaufman
Dr. Tim & Deanna Kavanaugh
Mike & Lindy Keiser
Scott & Mary Beth Kilrea
King Family Foundation
Christopher & Nikki Klingenstein
Bill & Sharon Kozek
J. A. Langan
Mr. & Mrs. Don Law
Robert M. & Diane v.S. Levy
Jack & Jama Lintol
Mr. & Mrs. Daniel F. Lisowski
Thomas L. Mallman
Christine & Richard Marcks
Alan & Vrissiis Matula
Gary & Carol Matula
Thomas E. McAuley
Patrick & Meredith McCormack
In Memory of David Robert McLellan by the McLellan Family
John & Judy Mendesh
John Merriman & Barbara Beatty
Michael & Sherri Miske
Thomas & Susan Moran
LTGEN/M George K. Muellner
Robert J. Navratil
In Memory of David A. Nelson
Frank & Janet Nessinger
Dan & Vicki Pawlowski
Rita & Leroy "Pete" Peterson
Mary & Scott Petrovich
Bruce & Deborah Pfaff
Dr. James E. Piereson
Jim & Donna Placio
Frank & Betsy Polizzi
John & Merry Ann Pratt
Roger W. Sandstrom
Jack & Dottie Sauer
Tim Schwertfeger & Gail Waller/Best Portion Foundation