Jenness scholarship extends DePaul mission

January 27, 2011

Jim Jenness (COM ’69 , MBA ’71, DHL ’06) and his wife Sharon recently made a major bequest to establish the James and Sharon Jenness Endowed Scholarship Award, which will be awarded on the basis of need and academic standing to students in the College of Commerce marketing program.

“I love DePaul,” says Jenness. “The education and values I received at our university have been the biggest enablers of my life. DePaul opened possibilities I never dreamed of growing up on the South Side of Chicago. ”

Jenness is chairman of the board of directors of Kellogg Co. of Battle Creek, Mich., following service as chairman and CEO. He serves as one of four trustees who oversee the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust, one of the worlds’ largest philanthropic organizations. He earned two degrees from DePaul, a bachelor’s in marketing and an MBA. He is vice-chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees and serves on the trustee steering committee of DePaul’s Many Dreams, One Mission Campaign.

“DePaul has always been a place where talented, hard-working students have an opportunity, regardless of their ethnic or economic background,” says Jenness. “DePaul’s academic strength continues to grow every year. In an environment of rising costs, when higher education is more important than ever before, we have to keep these opportunities viable and DePaul’s mission alive.”

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Bert Scott and Elizabeth Fender give back to School for New Learning

January 27, 2011

Bert Scott (SNL ’80) and his wife, Elizabeth Fender, recently gave $1 million to endow scholarships in DePaul’s School for New Learning (SNL).

Scott is a longtime member of the SNL Advisory Board, where his support was instrumental in developing SNL’s Center to Advance Education for Adults (CAEA). He presently co-chairs SNL’s Many Dreams, One Mission Campaign committee.

Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, Scott was the youngest of three siblings. In 1978, after an earlier stint at another university, he enrolled in SNL, thanks in part to a tuition reimbursement program offered by his then-employer, Prudential Insurance Co. After graduating in 1980, Scott rose in the corporate ranks, eventually serving in top-level executive positions at Prudential, TIAA-CREF, and most recently at CIGNA Corporation, where he is president of the firm’s U.S. commercial business.

“I could not have gone to DePaul without tuition support from Prudential. There are a lot of working adults today who are as serious about learning as I was and deserve a chance to earn a college degree, but who may not have the resources to do so. Providing scholarship assistance, for us, is the way to help them.”

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Donors surpass Steans Challenge $1 million goal

January 26, 2011

Some 7,300 DePaul alumni and friends gave more than $1.8 million in response to the recently concluded Steans Challenge for Scholarships.

Announced at the May 2010 launch of the university’s $250 million Many Dreams, One Mission Campaign and sponsored by noted Chicago philanthropist Harrison Steans and his family, the Challenge sought not only to raise money for DePaul scholarship funds but also to engage DePaul’s “grassroots” community in the Many Dreams, One Mission effort.

And engage it did—almost 55 percent of Steans Challenge donors had either never given to DePaul (2,116) or had not given to the university in more than three years (1,798).

“We are delighted with the results,” says Vice President of Alumni Outreach and Engagement Patricia O’Donoghue. “The response to the Steans Challenge shows that the DePaul community recognizes their role in helping students achieve their goals.”

In all the Steans Challenge raised $2.8 million, including $1.8 million for various scholarships designated by the donors and $1 million for the Steans Family Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support for students across the university.

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DePaul’s Octodad Named Student Showcase Winner at the 2011 IGF Competition

January 10, 2011

Octodad, a third-person PC adventure about “destruction, deception and fatherhood,” has been named one of eight Student Showcase Winners for the 2011 Independent Games Festival (IGF) at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), which will be held Feb. 28 to March 4 in San Francisco. DePaul University’s Devil’s Tuning Fork was also an IGF Student Showcase Winner in 2010.

Created by students in DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media with the help of advisors Patrick Curry (Game Director, Wideload Games and game design instructor at DePaul) and Associate Professor Scott Roberts, the game tells the story of Octodad, a cephalopod whose true nature must be kept hidden from his human family.

The innovative third-person adventure game, free to download from the DePaul site, has been collecting accolades from game enthusiast and consumer publications since its release in late 2010. Octodad has been featured on Kotaku, Joystiq, Destructoid, IGN, Indie Gamer and PC Gamer and downloaded more than 125,000 times since its release. The game received an “Honorable Mention” from Indiegames.com’s Best Of 2010: Top 10 Indie Games; it was also named Funniest Video Game of 2010 by SplitSider.com.

Founded in 2004, DePaul’s Game Development Program emphasizes a team-based approach to game development and includes courses in production, design, programming and animation. The university offers the largest computer science and game development program in the Midwest and was one of the first liberal arts universities to create a game program. DePaul currently has 259 undergraduates and 36 graduates enrolled in its game program.

“Octodad is near and dear to our hearts because it displays an immense degree of creativity while being really fun to play,” said David Miller, dean of the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul.  “More than a technical achievement, the award validates DePaul’s multidisciplinary approach to game development, rewarding this game for its unique aesthetics, programming chops and writing.”

DePaul’s program gives students a real-world view of careers in game development and builds the skills that will help them find employment in the business immediately after graduation.

“The game industry is known to be tough to break into – and unforgiving to those who lack experience making games,” said Scott Roberts, project advisor for the team behind Octodad and associate professor at DePaul’s School of Cinema and Interactive Media. “You can’t beat going to school and producing an award-winning game as a job-hunting strategy. Kudos to the team for pulling it off in such a spectacular fashion.”

Octodad can be downloaded for free at http://www.octodadgame.com/

To learn more about DePaul’s Game Development program, visit http://gamedev.depaul.edu/.

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DePaul women’s basketball stuns No. 3/2 Stanford

January 7, 2011

Led by Keisha Hampton’s 27 points and Felicia Chester’s career-high 24, the No. 22/25 DePaul women’s basketball upset No. 3/2 Stanford, 91-71 in front of a sold out and enthusiastic McGrath Arena crowd on Thursday, Dec. 16.

The Blue Demons, who have won their past 10 games, were aggressive from the opening minutes with their swarming and pressing defense, while their offensive transitions led to open shots.

DePaul (13-1) shot a season-high 59.6 percent (31-of-52) from the field, which included a 10-of-20 showing from behind the 3-point line. Sam Quigley finished the game with 11 points and was 3-of-5 from behind the arc.

Chester put an exclamation point on her career-night with two, 3-pointers—but none was bigger or ignited the crowd more than when the senior drained a trifecta with 6:24 left in the contest and put the Blue Demons up 73-55.

The Blue Demons led for 37:51 of the contest with Stanford’s largest lead, 5-2 in the opening 65 seconds of play, but Anna Martin put the Blue Demons ahead, 7-5 with a 3-pointer with 17:15 in the first half.

Stanford would tie the game at 18 and again at 20 before a China Threatt’s jumper gave DePaul a 22-20 lead with 8:55 to play in the half and the Blue Demons never looked back.

DePaul went up by as many as nine points, 37-28 but seven quick points by Cardinal sent the Blue Demons to the locker room with just a 37-35 advantage.

Refreshed from break, the Blue Demons came out running in the second half and blew the game open with a 26-12 run in the first eight minutes of the second stanza.

Hampton led DePaul in the second half with 23 points, including a stretch when the junior scored nine consecutive points for the Blue Demons. When the dust settled from Hampton’s scoring outburst, DePaul had pushed its advantage to 63-48 with 11:36 to play in the contest.

The Blue Demons sustained its double-digit lead the rest of the way, while a pair of free throws from Maureen Mulchrone gave DePaul a signature, 91-71 win.

Jeannette Pohlen led Stanford (6-1) with 23 points while Nnemkadi Ogwumike grabbed 10 rebounds for the Cardinal.

Chester paced DePaul on the boards with seven rebounds while she also added four steals.

Prior to tip, Stanford announced that it would play without senior Kayla Pedersen, while Deirdre Naughton was also absent from the floor for DePaul.

The win for DePaul, was the program’s first win over a No. 2 ranked team and second over a No. 3 ranked team. The Blue Demons topped then-No. 3 Louisiana Tech, 70-67 on Dec. 14, 1996 at Alumni Hall.

The win also denied Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer of her 800th career victory. VanDerveer came into Thursday’s game with a career 799-195 record and was looking to join Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt, C. Vivian Stringer and Sylvia Hatchell as women’s college coaches with 800 wins. That milestone will have to wait and her next try when the Cardinal play against Summitt and Tennessee on Sunday.

DePaul’s win was especially pleasing for Blue Demon head coach Doug Bruno, who both Stringer and Summitt got their 800th victories against DePaul.

For more about Blue Demon Athletics, visit www.depaulbluedemons.com.

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DePaul University dedicates the Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Building

January 1, 2011

DePaul University named its academic building at 14 E. Jackson Blvd. the Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Building in recognition of the many contributions to the city and university by Chicago’s first couple.

A dedication ceremony involving DePaul administrators, trustees and community leaders and members of the Daley family took place at the building on DePaul’s Loop Campus on Dec. 21. DePaul trustees approved the naming last spring.

“DePaul is proud to claim Mayor Daley as an alumnus and to be the first to name a building in the city for the current mayor and his wife Maggie, in recognition of their passion for and commitment to education, urban revitalization and the arts, which have helped transform Chicago into a world-class city,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul president. “Mayor Daley’s leadership and Mrs. Daley’s advocacy have had a dramatic impact on building an educated workforce, rejuvenating downtown and the neighborhoods, and nurturing arts and culture in Chicago. Quite simply, both Mayor and Mrs. Daley have had a lifelong love for Chicago, and have given the full measure of their energies to its people. We are proud to mark their faithful service with this symbol of respect and gratitude.”

Mary Dempsey, chair of DePaul’s Board of Trustees and commissioner of the Chicago Public Library system, who will participate in the ceremony, said: “In a recent global survey of the world’s best cities, Chicago was ranked sixth. It is hard to imagine Chicago being in such an enviable position were it not for the efforts of Mayor and Mrs. Daley.”

Mayor Daley is a “Double Demon,” having received both his undergraduate and law degrees from DePaul. His father, the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, also was a DePaul College of Law alumnus, as is the current mayor’s brother, Michael. One of Mayor and Mrs. Daley’s daughters, Elizabeth, is working on an advanced degree in psychology at DePaul. One of the Daleys’ nieces, Elizabeth Daley Ullem, previously taught in DePaul’s College of Commerce.

Mayor Daley also serves as the honorary chairman of DePaul’s $250 million “Many Dreams, One Mission” fundraising campaign. The centerpiece of the campaign is a goal to raise $100 million for student scholarships.

“The histories and the commitments of the Daley family and DePaul University have long been interwoven,” Holtschneider said. “Both are strongly committed to Chicago and its residents.” Holtschneider noted the especially dramatic impact that the mayor’s administration has had on revitalizing neighborhoods and downtown. “The creation of Millennium Park, launch of the downtown theatre district, rebirth of the State Street and Michigan Avenue retail districts, and rejuvenation of neighborhoods across Chicago during the mayor’s tenure have made the city stronger. It also has bolstered DePaul’s long-standing commitment to be an educational anchor in the Lincoln Park community, as well as the efforts by DePaul and more than two dozen higher education institutions to build a vibrant learning and living community downtown-where the South Loop is now the largest ‘college town’ in the Midwest, with more than 65,000 students.”

“Maggie Daley’s passionate commitment to education has been equally transformative,” Holtschneider added. “She was the seminal force in the creation of the nationally recognized After School Matters initiative, which offers students from underprivileged backgrounds opportunities to explore the arts, science, communications and technology, among other programs.” In the past year alone, After School Matters provided more than 25,000 learning opportunities in 715 programs. “Mrs. Daley also has played a key role in other important educational, civic and charitable initiatives, such as chairing the board of the Cultural Center Foundation and serving as the driving force behind the creation of The Francis Xavier Warde School-a Catholic school affiliated with Old St. Patrick’s Church that now serves a diverse population of more than 800 students on the near west and north sides of Chicago,” Holtschneider observed.

Although several facilities, including the Daley Center and Daley College, have been named after the mayor’s father, this is the first building in Chicago named for Richard M. Daley and Mrs. Daley.

“DePaul University is a key part of Chicago’s world-class education system, and the development and growth of its Loop campus has been a major catalyst for the creation of Chicago’s education corridor here in the South Loop,” Mayor Daley said.

“Because Chicago continues to build a diverse and robust economy, DePaul graduates are able to start their careers here, stay in the Chicago area to build their lives and raise their families,” he said. “It is my hope that for many years to come this building will serve the students of DePaul University as they continue their education and work towards making Chicago an even better place to live.”

Maggie Daley said: “Our young people have so much spirit, talent and passion. We must continue to provide them with a quality education to help channel their energy into taking charge of their futures. My wish for the Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Building is that it will always open the doors of opportunity for students, cultivate positive self-esteem and help transform how our young people think about themselves and their potential.”

DePaul acquired the 97-year-old office and retail building in 2008. It was known for decades as the Lytton Building and it previously housed one of State Street’s most storied retailing pioneers. The building was completed in 1913 and designed by the prominent Chicago architectural firm of Marshall and Fox (the firm’s other work includes numerous other Chicago landmarks including The Drake Hotel).

Since its acquisition, DePaul has invested $37 million to revitalize the exterior of the ornate terra cotta building and interior spaces, including complete renovation of 10 full floors of the facility into classroom, lab and office space. The vibrant academic center houses a wide variety of programs, including DePaul’s College of Communication, School of Public Service and School for New Learning, which specializes in helping adult students achieve degrees, as well as a number of College of Law clinics. State-of-the-art production, performance and technical spaces for the College of Communications and College of Computing and Digital Media are also housed in the facility. The building has a number of tenants, including numerous retailers along State Street and Jackson Boulevard. The 18-story, 384,000-square-foot structure is one of six historic buildings that DePaul owns and operates in the South Loop.

DePaul has been a steady presence in both the South Loop and Lincoln Park communities for decades, long serving as an anchor in these neighborhoods, including during previous periods of decline. In downtown Chicago, where DePaul has had a presence for nearly a century, DePaul jump-started revitalization of the South Loop in the early 1990s when it acquired and undertook a $70 million renovation of the long-vacant former Goldblatt’s department store, converting it into the DePaul Center, a vibrant mix of classroom, office and retail space located across the street from 14 E. Jackson Blvd.

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