Meet our Lincoln Scholars

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is a place where opportunities abound.

In our college, the leaders of tomorrow learn to analyze and solve problems, to work in diverse groups, and to view the world with a broad perspective. Since 2012, the LAS Lincoln Scholars Initiative has been opening the doors to this college experience through a program that provides significant renewable scholarships to academically gifted Illinois students in need of financial support.

Read about some of the inspiring students whose lives have been changed thanks to the Lincoln Scholars Initiative. 

Interested in donating to similar efforts to help students throughout LAS? Learn how.

Lotanna Ezenekwe

Lotanna EzenekweFor Lotanna Ezenekwe, there’s a difference between knowing one is alive and understanding what that means.

“I knew I was alive; everyone knows they are walking, talking, breathing, but I didn’t know about all of the cellular processes and everything that goes into being alive,” she explained. “There is just so much more to that; it’s very complex.”


Daniel Fitzgerald

Daniel Fitzgerald

Daniel Fitzgerald has allowed an enduring passion of diving into history lead him to the University of Illinois. The senior from Roselle is a history major with a minor in secondary education.

“I chose to study history, because it has been a lifelong interest of mine, and I pursued a minor in secondary education to be able to share my knowledge of history with students,” he explained. 


Anthony Salazar

Anthony Salazar

When Anthony Salazar began weighing his options following high school graduation, like many teens, he was considering a number of opportunities at schools throughout the region. However, ultimately his choice came down to numbers.

His choice to attend Illinois was based on finances.


Vanessa Sumano

Vanessa Sumano

Biology wasn’t always Vanessa Sumano’s passion.

In fact, she abhorred the subject through middle school and most of high school until she landed in an upper level class with a curriculum that covered anatomy and physiology. Learning about the structure of living organisms and how they function set Sumano’s curiosity ablaze.


Read more stories

Few endeavors are more central to our mission as a land-grant institution than providing access to a liberal arts and sciences education for promising students whose financial situation might prevent them from enrolling at Illinois. The students featured above are just some of many who benefit from the Lincoln Scholars Initiative.

In addition the support offered through the Lincoln Scholars Initiative, the College of LAS provides numerous named scholarships to students throughout the college. Read stories about the impact of giving.

Inspired to get involved?

The College of LAS offers many opportunities to help students throughout the college. Learn more.