Scholarship night nets record $300K for Elmhurst College

ELMHURST — Elmhurst College’s fourth-annual “Evening for Scholarships” benefit netted a record $300,000 to fund student scholarships, exceeding last year’s record by $60,000, according to a news release.

Ninety-five percent of the proceeds from the event, held March 16 in the Frick Center, will go directly to fund student scholarships.

CBS 2 News anchor Rob Johnson served as the master of ceremonies. A live auction, performances by Elmhurst’s Wind Ensemble and Jazz Combo and a celebration of student achievements contributed to the festive atmosphere.

College President S. Alan Ray reminded attendees of the crucial purpose of the evening: to raise money that will enable many financially stressed Elmhurst students to finish college. In the 2011-12 academic year, 96 percent of Elmhurst students received some form of financial aid.

Several Elmhurst students who currently receive scholarships attended the event, including senior Scottie Williams, a marketing major from Woodridge. He spoke during the dinner and thanked donors for their generosity, calling it “an amazing gesture” on their part, according to the release.

Williams, a record-setting running back for the Elmhurst football team, recently received the Gagliardi Trophy – the Division III equivalent of the Heisman Trophy – for his outstanding performance on the football field, in the classroom and serving the community.

In honor of his achievements, the City of Elmhurst proclaimed March 16 Scottie Williams Day.