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$1.5 million pledged to DePaul University will support scholarships, athletics and homelessness institute

Alumnus Bertram ‘Bert' L. Scott supports causes close to his heart

Bert Scott
DePaul alumnus and Life Trustee Bertram “Bert” L. Scott has pledged $1.5 million to support scholarship, athletics and work to end homelessness. (Image courtesy of Bert Scott)
CHICAGO — DePaul University alumnus and native Chicagoan Bertram “Bert” L. Scott has pledged $1.5 million to support Now We Must: The Campaign for DePaul’s Students, an ambitious fundraising campaign designed to answer pressing needs in the DePaul community that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is the next generation of students who will make a contribution to the world. This is why it is so critical for all of us to help them continue their education,” Scott said.

Scott has pledged $750,000 to create the new Scott Family Endowed Scholarship at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS), which will provide scholarships for adult learners who exhibit financial need. He also has pledged $500,000 to DePaul Athletics to provide support as the new athletics director, DeWayne Peevy, expands the programs under his purview and to increase outreach on and off campus.

To support the George and Tanya Ruff Institute of Global Homelessness​, Scott has also pledged $250,000. These funds will be directed to the joint initiative of DePaul University and Depaul International, which works to end street homelessness through research initiatives, global partnerships and direct services.

“Bert has dedicated his professional life to health equity and medical advancements for the betterment of society,” said A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., president of DePaul University. “His financial support will help DePaul make an even greater and more meaningful impact on our students and the world at large. Whether it’s supporting our adult learners who face unique challenges, our student-athletes whose academic and athletic achievements are an example to us all or DePaul’s work to alleviate the scourge of homelessness, we are deeply grateful to Bert for his consistent generosity and devotion to our university.”

Currently the chairman of the board of the American Heart Association (AHA), Scott has devoted his long and illustrious career to health care and ¬financial services. Among his career highlights are serving as senior vice president of population health and value-based care at Novant Health, president and CEO of Affinity Health Plan, president of U.S. commercial markets for Cigna and president and CEO of TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company.

A native of Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood, Scott grew up in a family that emphasized the importance of service. His own higher education journey began while working at Prudential Financial when he realized that the most successful people at the company had at least an undergraduate college degree. This realization led him to study business administration as an adult student in what was then the School for New Learning (now SCPS). That experience started the relationship with DePaul that is still going strong more than 40 years later.

Scott co-chaired the Many Dreams, One Mission campaign committee at DePaul and in 2005, Scott began his term on DePaul’s Board of Trustees. He was named a Life Trustee upon retirement from the Board in 2016. Thanks to Scott’s generosity, nearly 100 scholarships have been granted to students exhibiting financial need, including male students of color through the Scott-Fender Endowed Diversity Scholarship Fund and the Adult Men of Color Initiative at SCPS, both of which he was instrumental in founding. He also funds the Bert Scott-Elizabeth A. Fender Lecture series to advance adult education.

“We are honored that Mr. Scott has been a longtime advocate of SCPS’s commitment to empower diverse adult learners who demonstrate great promise and purpose,” said Tatum Thomas, dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. “The Scott Family Endowed Scholarship will allow us to catalyze the goals of talented, ambitious adult students who choose to attend DePaul.”


Media contact:
Kristin Claes Mathews​
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