Ulias family establishes a scholarship for veterans

September 23, 2010

Don Ulias (LAS ’57) and Judy Ulias recently created a $500,000 bequest to establish a scholarship at DePaul for military veterans with both academic potential and financial need.

“I owe DePaul a lot. It’s that simple,” says Ulias, who retired in 1999 as director of field operations for power tool manufacturer Bosch. “And I’m thrilled to be giving my dollar away twice: Once to DePaul and a second time when DePaul gives the scholarship to true heroes, the veterans who might need a little help to reach DePaul just like I did.”

Like many of his DePaul Academy classmates in the 1950s, Ulias wanted to attend DePaul University; however, his grades were not high enough for admission.

Don Ulias (LAS '57), Judy Ulias and Boomer

Ulias appealed to the Rev. Theodore Wangler, C.M., DePaul University’s vice president for Student Affairs. “I realized that I was in a sense fighting for my future,” says Ulias. Wangler, seeing potential in the young Ulias, made him a deal: Ulias would be the first incoming freshman to begin DePaul on academic probation. Ulias could remain at the university as long as he did not earn any grade lower than a C.

Ulias fulfilled his end of the deal, earning three Bs and two Cs in his first semester. Near the beginning of his second semester, Ulias found Wangler standing in the hall, waiting for him.

“Fr. Wangler said to me, ‘I want to congratulate you and welcome you to DePaul University. I knew you could do it,'” says Ulias. “I don’t believe there is another major university in the United States where administrators care that much about a student.”

While at DePaul, Ulias grew from a shy teenager into an adult confident in himself and his abilities. He leapt into a sales career, moving with Judy to Miami, Atlanta and Los Angeles and back to the Chicago area as he progressed in his career at Bosch.

“The genesis of our charmed life is definitely DePaul,” says Ulias. “If I hadn’t gone to DePaul, we wouldn’t have had the life we did.”

For more information about making a planned gift, contact Joel Schaffer, assistant vice president of planned giving, at (312) 362-5319 or jschaffe@depaul.edu.

Return to Alumni & Friends Website