Valparaiso University announces the establishment of the Conrad Scholars, made possible by the generosity of Linnea Conrad ’84 Roberts and the Roberts Foundation. The total gift will exceed $1.4 million, with $710,000 provided to sponsor a cohort of 20 students for four years and an additional $710,000 offered as a one-to-one match for additional funds raised in support of the program. When the match is complete, the total impact will be more than $2.1 million.
The inaugural cohort of Conrad Scholars will begin with the fall 2018 semester. The robust, dedicated program will provide scholarships, mentoring, academic success assistance, and peer coaching to incoming high-need, high-ability Valpo students. One of the major predictors of success for this student population is scholarship funding. Conrad Scholars will receive a $5,000 scholarship per year, which will close the gap between the cost of attendance and what the University is able to award through financial aid.
“My family and I are blessed to be in a position to establish the Conrad Scholars program,” Linnea Conrad Roberts says. “Valparaiso University is very important to us, and we owe so much to our Valpo education. This program will ensure that students who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to attend Valpo are able to receive the same great education that enriched our lives.”
Linnea Conrad Roberts has been a member of the Valparaiso University Board of Directors since 2003. She graduated in 1984 with a bachelor of science in accounting and is a retired partner at Goldman Sachs. Her mother, Ginger Simpson ’55 Conrad, earned a bachelor of arts in speech and drama, and her brother, Cary Conrad ’79 has a bachelor of science in electrical engineering.
“Because of the generosity of Linnea, Ginger and Cary, students who may not have been able to attend Valpo will now be able to do so,” says Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University. “The support they will receive, both academically and financially, will help them achieve their undergraduate academic goals. We are all deeply grateful to the Conrad family for making this possible.”
The Conrad Scholars program is cohort based, with 20 students moving toward their individual educational goals with support from a program coordinator and faculty mentor, academic skills coaching from peers, and events and activities to strengthen relationships among the cohort members. Students will also receive a $5,000 annual scholarship for four years.
This gift to establish the Conrad Scholars program supports Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future, a $250 million endowment campaign focused on raising permanent support for student scholarships, faculty development, and programs. Forever Valpo was officially launched on Sept. 23, 2016, and has raised nearly $180 million.