Meet our Lincoln Scholars

We believe the power of innovation can change the world.

In the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Illinois, the leaders of tomorrow learn to analyze and solve problems, to work in diverse groups, and to view the world with a broad perspective. Our students pursue knowledge in an incredible breadth of areas and use their education to propel society forward.

For a decade, the Lincoln Scholars Initiative has opened 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. 

With your support, the most promising and deserving Illinois students can pursue a strong educational foundation and the professional skills needed to advance their passions and change the world. Interested in donating? Learn how

 Rebecca DucayRebecca Ducay

During the summer of 2019, Rebecca Ducay volunteered as a research assistant in South America where her team conducted biological surveys. The lifelong nature lover soon realized her passion for wildlife and habitat management.

“I absolutely loved conducting research and working in the field, and thus that is the path I wish to pursue,” the Illinois senior said. “I’ve always been interested in the natural world, so a career in life sciences was always my plan.”


Sebastian FrankSebastian Frank

Sebastian Frank was a sophomore when he made a decision that changed everything. The economics and Spanish major found his niche while studying econometrics and quantitative economics.

“I knew that I wanted to do a combination of more theoretical work with quantitative material,” Frank said. “Out of all the programs I looked at, Illinois was the one that had the most courses that met both of those criteria. It’s really great to feel so passionate about something in college, and my career is going to follow that same path after graduation.”


Omolabake OyetayoOmolabake Oyetayo

As a future neurosurgeon, Omolabake Oyetayo chose to study integrative biology to view life science from a more macroscopic perspective.

“I was used to learning biology from a molecular standpoint and just wanted to explore it in a different way since biology encompasses many different areas,” the Illinois senior explained. “I wanted to explore the interrelationships between the organisms, the environment, and other subdivisions of biology.”


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.