Two from area earn 'Forward' scholarships

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A dusting of snow covers flowers placed at the memorial to five students at Northern Illinois University on Sunday morning. The granite slabs honor the five killed by a gunman six years ago last week. Two area residents were announced as winners of scholarships created in memory of the students. See story below. (News Bulletin photo)


Northern Illinois University has announced the 2014 winners of the Forward, Together Forward Scholarships.

In honor of the five Huskies whose lives were lost Feb. 14, 2008, Forward, Together Forward scholars must demonstrate strength of character through traits such as a strong work ethic, motivation, inspiration, a high regard for others, integrity and intellectual curiosity.

This year’s recipients are:

* Juan Molina Hernandez of Aurora, a senior majoring in studio art-design

* Lauren Noonan of Naperville, a junior majoring in speech-language pathology and audiology

* Kaitlyn King of Sycamore, a junior majoring in speech-language pathology and audiology

* Joseph Palmer of Rolling Meadows, a junior majoring in international politics

* Christian Villalobos of Chicago, a junior majoring in business

“Our Forward, Together Forward scholars are shining examples of NIU President Doug Baker’s vision for all NIU students – well-rounded and innovative scholars prepared for success and satisfaction in whatever paths they choose after graduation,” Interim Provost Lisa Freeman said.

“These scholarships are awarded on the basis of not only strong academic performance but also selflessness and service to others,” she added. “These students strive not only to improve themselves, but also to improve their peers and the world around them. As they work toward these goals, they honor the memory of five of their predecessors whose lives continue to make a difference through these awards.”

The Forward, Together Forward Scholarship is one of NIU’s most prestigious scholarships. Up to five $4000 scholarships are awarded annually to continuing undergraduate students.

This year’s winners will be honored at a private, on-campus ceremony in early March; the university will release biographical information at that time.

The university commemorated the loss of five students who were killed in a shooting incident.

Commemorations included at moment of silence at 3:06 p.m., bells tolled five times and a Memorial Garden adjacent to the Cole Hall shooting site was opened for reflection. 


–News Bulletin news sources