Advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need

39 Exceptional Students Receive Graduate Scholarships for Jack Kent Cooke Foundation



LANSDOWNE, VA - The 2004 recipients of Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarships were announced here today. Each of these 39 recent college graduates will receive an annual award of up to $50,000 for the length of their graduate or professional degree programs. These are the largest scholarships offered by any private foundation in the US.

The new Jack Kent Cooke Scholars (see attached) attended colleges in 20 states and the District of Columbia and are natives of ten countries from Albania to Zimbabwe. Each college or university in the US may nominate up to two candidates for the Foundation's awards. This year's recipients were chosen from a pool of 1,226 nominees submitted by 747 colleges. Teams of academic representatives - including college deans, professors, and admissions officers - assisted the Foundation in the selection process. Since beginning the program in 2002, the Foundation has now awarded 132 graduate scholarships worth $24 million through the life of the awards.

"We developed this program to offer outstanding individuals the financial freedom to pursue their highest calling through advanced education," said Dr. Matthew J. Quinn, the Foundation's executive director and a former college president. "In this group, we have found 39 of the finest students in America, and we expect they will make tremendous contributions to their professions and communities."

Dr. Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools, said of the Cooke Graduate Scholarship Program: "The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is providing a great service to graduate education with the Graduate Scholarship Program. The magnitude of the awards will help ensure that the best and brightest students continue to choose graduate study as a path to career success, and our graduate programs will benefit from the extraordinarily talented students that these scholarships attract."

Dr. Quinn said the 2004 Scholars possess the same work ethic, imagination, and love for education as the Foundation's namesake, the late Jack Kent Cooke. "We could write a book about these 39 wonderful young people, with 39 different chapters woven together by hard work, desire, and spirit," Dr. Quinn said.

The latest Cooke Scholars, which include 23 women and 16 men, will study diverse disciplines such as aerospace engineering, archaeology, and law. Seven of the Scholars specialize in the fine or performing arts. The students will attend some of the world's best universities, including 13 students who will attend Ivy League institutions and four who will attend the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Three winners were previous recipients of undergraduate scholarships from the Foundation; they also had to compete to win these new awards. Among the recipients are

  • Milagros C. Aledo, 25, who is the daughter of a fisherman from Cuba and served as president of the student government and graduated summa cum laude from Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC. She will attend Harvard's Kennedy School of Government for a master's degree in public policy.
  • Gregory Anderson, 22, who won first place in the International Young Artists Competition in Spain and has performed countless hours as a volunteer in nursing homes, hospitals, and community centers. He graduated with academic distinction from the Juilliard School of Music and intends to earn a master of music degree there.
  • Ronald Crouch, 32, who was an Alaskan fisherman, diesel mechanic, and English teacher in Siberia before studying psychology at George Washington University (DC) as an undergraduate Jack Kent Cooke Scholar. He will seek a doctorate in clinical and community psychology from DePaul University in Chicago.
  • Nana Sarkoah Fenny, 25, whose early life in a remote village in Ghana where tropical diseases were rampant has guided her career goals. Having compiled a 3.86 GPA at Beloit College in Wisconsin while tutoring middle school children and starting an African dance group, she will attend the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine for a combined M.D. and master of public health degree.
  • Dr. Quinn noted that to be selected a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar "individuals had to show not only exceptional academic ability, but also a strong will to succeed and other qualities such as demonstrated critical thinking, a sense of service, a love of the arts or humanities . . . . each of these attributes was important to Mr. Cooke."

Scholarship amounts will vary for each recipient based on several factors, including costs at the college or university he or she attends, and are renewed each year based upon performance. Each award can cover some or all of the Scholar's tuition, room and board, fees, and books for the duration of the Scholar's approved degree program (up to six years). The Scholars may use the award to attend any accredited graduate school in the United States or abroad.


The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. Besides the Graduate Scholarship Program, the Foundation's programs for outstanding students with financial need also include full scholarships for students transferring from community college to complete a four-year degree and scholarships to help high-achieving youth develop their talents and abilities throughout high school.


Name Undergraduate Institution Will Attend
Milagros C. Aledo Salem College Harvard University
Samia Amin Middlebury College Harvard University
Laura E. Amussen Towson University Maryland Institute College of Art
Gregory N. Anderson Julliard School Julliard School
Sarah S. Arlen University of California, Berkeley EICAR, Paris Intl Film School
Alexandra C. Chirinos University of Texas, Austin Harvard University
Ronald D. Crouch George Washington University DePaul University
Riki R. Drori CUNY Hunter College INSEAD, Europe
Bukhosi B. Dube Madonna University University of Utah
Alexandra R. Dymowska Columbia College Pratt Institute
Emily C. Egan Brown University University of Cambridge
Nana Sarkoah I. Fenny Beloit College University of Chicago
Tomás Garrett University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee University of Illinois, Chicago
Giannina L. Garces Ambrossi Mary Baldwin College Johns Hopkins University
Hadassa E. Goldvicht Rhode Island School of Design University of Pennsylvania
Timothy M. Hagen North Carolina School of the Arts University of Southern California
Omar S. Haque Brown University Yale University
Angela M. Harrison University of South Dakota University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Celeste Hernández-Gerety University of Maryland, College Park Yale University
Joseph S. Jewell California Institute of Technology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Eric D. Johnson University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill London School of Economics
John Kiess University of Virginia University of Cambridge, Peterhouse College
Rachel A. Lagos Mountain State University WV School of Osteopathic Med.
Mei Ying Lai Columbia University Columbia University
Katherine A. Linder Princeton University University of Cambridge
Jerry D. Mathes, II Lewis-Clark State College East Carolina University
Kerri D. Maxwell Hendrix College Johns Hopkins University
Catherine R. Medrano University of California, San Diego University of California, Santa Barbara
Miza Moreau San Francisco Art Institute University of California, Berkeley
Lorina Naci University of Georgia University of Cambridge
James M. O'Brien Southern Connecticut State University Tufts University
Thomas A. Oldham University of Nebraska-Lincoln Columbia University
Christopher M. Richardson Emory University Duke University
William J. Simmons Lafayette College Rutgers University
Brian G. Skotko Duke University Harvard University
Amy M. Smith Cornell University George Washington University
Mireille D. Truong Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) VCU
Derid S. Ure Idaho State University University of the Pacific
Christina L. Zarrella Saint Joseph College Yale University







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