Establish a Scholarship

Establishing a scholarship is one of the most meaningful ways of ensuring that VanderCook’s tradition of excellence will always be available to the most talented students, regardless of their financial circumstances. When you establish a scholarship, you directly help our deserving students realize their dream of earning a VanderCook degree and pursuing a successful teaching career. There are four options to consider for creating a lasting legacy through a scholarship fund.
  • Make a one-time gift to establish a scholarship fund. The money is deposited in an interest-bearing account. Annual awards are given based either on a pre-determined amount or upon the interest earned. The goal of this type of scholarship is to allow the principal to remain in perpetuity.  An example of this type is the Merle Isaac Scholarship Fund, with awards ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 annually.
  • Establish a scholarship fund with a single gift and continue to make annual gifts. This allows part of the annual gift to be awarded as a scholarship with the remainder going into the fund to continually build the principal. Ultimately, awards will be made solely from the interest earned. To date, this has been the most popular vehicle, with opening sums ranging from $10,000-$50,000.  Examples of this award are the Lew and Gerry Schmidt Scholarship Fund, the Keith R. Mardak Scholarship Fund, and the Morton and Iris Manus Scholarship Fund. These scholarships make annual awards ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.
  • Create a memorial fund. Annual gifts are made from the memorial fund with family and friends contributing to help sustain fund growth. Annual investments in the fund made by additional donors allow the college to award scholarships while realizing moderate growth on the principal. Examples of this scholarship are the Victor Zajec Scholarship, the Lorraine Quinlan Scholarship, and the Armond and Ann Menghini Scholarship. Awards from these funds range from $500 to $1,000 annually.
  • Designate an annual or one-time gift to the college as a scholarship. These awards are drawn from funds that are neither held nor managed by the college.
We encourage scholarship donors to determine the criteria for the awards. Often this is done in consult with VanderCook faculty to determine the areas of greatest need at the college. Examples include: Lew and Gerry Schmidt’s award made to a student from Wisconsin with preference given to an instrumental (band) major; the Armond and Ann Menghini award for students from Michigan with preference given to instrumental (band) majors; and the Merle Isaac Scholarship for a string education major.
Other scholarship trustees allow the faculty to make the award based upon specific criteria such as a student’s GPA, level of service to the college, overall musicianship, or a particular instrument or voice.  This is how the Zajec Scholoarship recipient is selected, for example.
As VanderCook is a tuition-driven institution, any gift you commit will be put to good use and will make a critical difference in the lives of our students. You can be sure your scholarship will have a significant impact on VanderCook students and the future of music education.
If you are considering establishing a scholarship fund at VanderCook and would like to discuss these options, please contact Dr. Roseanne Rosenthal at 312.788.1152 or

VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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