DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > $300,000 gift addresses vital student need
By Office of Advancement /
January 18, 2022 /
Posted in: CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY /
DePaul Life Trustee Joanne Velasquez and her husband, Arthur, are helping those in need realize their academic and career aspirations through a generous $300,000 gift to fund the Velasquez Family Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes and supports high-potential graduates of Chicago Catholic high schools who wish to enroll at DePaul and who demonstrate financial need.
Preference is given to graduates of high schools and participants in programs supported by the Big Shoulders Fund. The Big Shoulders Fund bolsters scholarships and enrichment, operational improvements, academic programs and leadership development at Catholic schools in underresourced Chicago neighborhoods.
“In these challenging times, DePaul's Catholic and Vincentian values serve others more than ever by providing an education in a welcoming community," says the Rev. Monsignor Kenneth Velo, senior executive of Catholic collaboration at DePaul and co-chairman and past president of the Big Shoulders Fund. “Joanne and Art Velasquez embody that compassionate service with this generous gift."
Joanne and Art Velasquez have long helped fuel DePaul's Vincentian mission to serve a diverse community of learners and strengthen equity of access to higher education. Their previously established Joanne & Arthur R. Velasquez Endowed Scholarship provides recognition and financial assistance to students enrolled in the College of Education who are in good academic standing and have need. Similarly, a College of Education Endowed Scholarship in honor of the Velasquez family supports incoming first-generation students who are dedicated to advancing the Mexican-American community.
The couple also has supported the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., chair in Vincentian Studies at the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Campaign for Excellence in Science Capital Fund.
“I am grateful to Joanne and Art Velasquez for their generosity, service and dedication to providing students with outstanding educations that transform lives," says DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban. “This latest gift furthers our shared values of taking care of one another while helping talented students achieve their full potential."
Joanne and Art Velasquez exemplify service through academic, philanthropic and business leadership as well. Joanne served on DePaul's Board of Trustees from 2006–12 and on the College of Education's Advisory Council from 2003–11. Art has served on numerous corporate, educational and philanthropic boards, including those of the Big Shoulders Fund and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Notre Dame Board of Trustees. Art and Joanne are chairman and vice chair, respectively, of Azteca Foods, a Chicago-based, family-owned food manufacturer.
“Providing students access to a world-class education at DePaul is an inspiring example of Joanne and Art Velasquez's lifelong effort to help individuals and families achieve economic and educational success," says Daniel J. Allen, DePaul's senior vice president of advancement and external relations. “DePaul shares their commitment to providing pathways to success for students from multiple and diverse backgrounds. We're grateful to Joanne and Art for their partnership and generosity as we strive to meet this vital goal together."