Jack Kent Cooke Foundation award will provide up to $40,000 per year
For Hub City Times
MADISON — For Graham Pearce, May 20 commencement ceremonies at the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County brought a big surprise.
UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen announced at the event that Pearce has been named a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholar. Pearce will receive up to $40,000 per year — for up to three years — toward tuition, living expenses, books, and fees when he continues his studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison this fall.
“We are grateful to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for recognizing a promising UW Colleges transfer student with this prestigious national award,” Sandeen said. “Graham Pearce was the very first student I got to know when I began my position as chancellor a year and a half ago. He has impressed us all with his intelligence, hard work, and commitment to service. This generous scholarship will ensure that Graham can focus on his studies when he transfers to UW-Madison in the fall and become as successful as we know he will be.”
Pearce graduated May 20, earning an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree with a mathematics emphasis. He intends to study business at UW-Madison.
Pearce is among 75 scholars nationally — and the only one from Wisconsin — selected to receive this year’s scholarships, which are awarded on the basis of academic achievement, leadership, service, and other factors. He is the first UW Colleges student to receive the award.
Pearce has been active in student government, serving as UW-Marshfield/Wood County Student Senate president; president of the UW Colleges Student Governance Council; and chair of UW Student Representatives, which includes student leaders from across the UW System, for 2016-2017.
He also has tutored peers in math, co-edited the Insight campus newspaper, sung with campus choral groups, and co-owned custom woodwork and solar businesses. He is a member of Marshfield Young Professionals and received the UW-Marshfield/Wood County Recognition of Meritorious Achievement in Mathematics and the UW Colleges Lee Grugel Memorial Leadership Award in 2015.
The Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is the largest private scholarship in the nation for students transferring from two-year schools to four-year institutions awarding bachelor’s degrees. The awards recognize students who demonstrate both merit and financial need.
“These extraordinary young people have proven repeatedly and conclusively that top two-year college students have the ability to thrive in top four-year colleges,” said Harold O. Levy, Cooke Foundation executive director. “They deserve equal educational opportunity.”
After earning bachelor’s degrees, Cooke Scholars are eligible for graduate school scholarships worth up to $50,000 per year for four years.