BenU recognizes scholarship founders and their impact on recipients’ lives

May 2, 2016

Lisle, Illinois ~ A scholarship foundation is an invaluable investment in the bright minds of our future. At Benedictine University, more than 75 scholarships are available and nearly one-third of the actual value of a student’s tuition is covered by scholarships.

The Benedictine University Scholars Society is a group of endowed scholarship and award founders. Each spring, Benedictine hosts a breakfast to foster communication between these donors and their scholarship recipients. The students use this platform to express their gratitude to the donors, and donors welcome the opportunity to hear the recipients’ stories and share in their aspirations.

Impact Awards are presented to honor the scholarship donors who have had the most impact on their student beneficiaries. At this year’s event, the RJN Foundation Scholarship and the Christine Frances Rocco Memorial Endowed Scholarship were selected for Impact Awards.

The Christine Francis Rocco Memorial Endowed Scholarship was founded by Angela Rocco DeCarlo, C75, Daniel G. DeCarlo, Mark J. DeCarlo, Michael P. DeCarlo, O.D. and Daniel C. DeCarlo, Esq., with the intention of assisting a female student of Italian-American heritage who has financial need and a GPA of 3.000 or better. This year’s recipient was Alexandra Cascone of Lisle, a senior Marketing major. Cascone was raised in a single-parent home, and without scholarship money she may not have been able to complete her education.

Cascone channeled her mother’s strong work ethic and became a highly successful and involved student at Benedictine, serving as president of the Collegiate Chapter of the American Marketing Association, completing an internship at Ace Hardware Corporation and working as a marketing assistant for Rick Cali, associate dean of the College of Business.

Engineering Science major and Aurora native Andrew Czerak received this year’s RJN Foundation Scholarship, which was founded by Richard J. Nogaj with the intention of assisting an undergraduate student with financial need who is enrolled in the Benedictine University-Illinois Institute of Technology Engineering program. Czerak is the second oldest of seven children and his family has dealt with unemployment in recent years. This scholarship will help make it possible for him to continue his education and will help alleviate some of the burden of his family’s finances.

Czerak is a Dean’s List student who earned straight A’s this past year and received an Academic Excellence Award from the Department of Athletics for his academic performance while a member of the baseball team. He is choosing to major in Engineering Science in hopes of finding creative ways to address problems and find solutions that will benefit his community.

To learn more about scholarships available at BenU or to contribute to one, contact or (630) 829-1805.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the fifth consecutive year in 2015, and the University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area.

Marketing and Communications

Gary Kohn
Assoc. Vice President of Marketing and Communications
(630) 829-6095