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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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

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Law school alumni give $6.5 million to support scholarships, legal clinics at DePaul

May 20, 2010

Gifts include the university’s largest ever to scholarships

At the request of noted pharmaceutical executive, philanthropist and DePaul University law alumnus Michael Jaharis, the Jaharis Family Foundation Inc. has made a $5 million gift to endow scholarships in the university’s College of Law.

The gift — the largest single gift to scholarships in the university’s 112-year history — comes on the heels of a $1 million gift from alumnus and life trustee John W. Martin Jr. to endow the school’s legal clinics, and a $500,000 gift to endow scholarships from alumnus Larry Rogers Sr., founding partner of the Chicago law firm Power Rogers & Smith.

“Each of these very generous gifts will enable students to realize dreams that otherwise they might not be able to attain,” says the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul University. “We are grateful for the commitment that these alumni have for DePaul’s mission of providing its unique, world-class legal education to talented students.”

Michael Jaharis
Mr. Jaharis, a Chicago native and son of Greek immigrants, served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Korean War and later attended night school at DePaul University, receiving his law degree there in 1958. After a short stint in private practice, he joined Miles Laboratories as legal counsel and eventually became vice president and general counsel of the pharmaceutical company’s Ethical Drug Division. He had worked for Miles as a salesman while attending DePaul.

In 1972, Mr. Jaharis and a partner acquired Key Pharmaceuticals and turned the tiny producer of cough and cold remedies into a powerhouse with newly developed top-selling asthma and cardiovascular drugs. Under his leadership, Key’s sales increased 100-fold before the company’s $836 million merger with Schering-Plough in 1986.

Two years later Mr. Jaharis launched Kos Pharmaceuticals, which dominated the market with its cholesterol-lowering drug Niaspan before being sold to Abbott Labs in 2006 for $4.2 billion.

Today, he is founder and director of Arisaph Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately held drug/bio-tech discovery and design company, and a founder of Vatera Capital LLC, a private investment firm focusing on the healthcare industry.

Mr. Jaharis gave the gift as a challenge to encourage other College of Law alumni to give back to the university.

“I feel that my studies at DePaul are what really got me started,” he says. “It is particularly important to me and my family to give back to an institution which truly inspired me and may help open doors for young people who wish to advance their education.”

Mr. Jaharis has served as the lay head of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States for the past 10 years. A generous philanthropist throughout his career, he and the Jaharis Family Foundation continue to support higher education, arts and religious organizations.

John W. Martin Jr.
John W. Martin Jr. graduated from DePaul’s College of Law in 1961. In 1970, after the better part of a decade with the U.S. Department of Justice and a private New York firm, he joined Ford Motor Co., serving as vice president and general counsel for 10 years before his retirement in 1999.

While at Ford he received the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award (1990) and in 1997 was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal.

In retirement, Mr. Martin continues to provide pro bono legal services to a number of organizations, most recently as an immigration lawyer with Gulfcoast Legal Services, a nonprofit in Sarasota, Fla., where he lives nine months of the year.

“Lawyers have a special obligation to serve the poor, especially in a society as complex and difficult to navigate as ours,” he says. “Clinic work should be an integral part of a lawyer’s training.”

DePaul’s College of Law has nine pro bono legal clinics. Each semester some 70 qualified second- and third-year students provide legal support in more than 100 civil and criminal cases brought by indigent clients.

Larry Rogers Sr.
Attorney Larry Roger Sr. received his law degree from DePaul in 1983 and quickly earned a reputation as a personal injury lawyer to be reckoned with. In 1985, in his first Cook County trial, he won a $27 million judgment in a product liability case – the largest in Illinois history at the time. Since then he has won numerous multimillion-dollar judgments for clients, including a recent $55 million award in a medical malpractice case, the state’s largest judgment for a malpractice case in the past decade.

During his career, Mr. Rogers has served as president of the Cook County Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, where he was the first African-American to ever hold the post.

He has garnered many awards, including the Richard E. Westbrook Award for legal excellence from the Cook County Bar Association and was named one of the country’s top 10 litigators by National Law Journal in 1999.

Mr. Rogers, who earned his law degree at night while working full time as a respiratory therapist, says that the most important accomplishment of his career has been mentoring young lawyers, many of them African-American.

“Institutions such as DePaul have helped lead the way in opening up the legal profession to a diverse cross section of people—minorities, women and others who have been notoriously underserved in the past,” he says. “There’s still work to do, and that’s why scholarships such as the one I’ve established are important, because economic barriers still remain.”

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