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2016 Matthew J. Quinn Prize Guidelines

OVERVIEW

In honor of the Cooke Foundation’s founding executive director, Matthew J. Quinn, the foundation has created an award that may be given annually to one or more current Jack Kent Cooke Higher Education Scholars or alumni recognizing outstanding achievement during the prior two years (January 2014 through December 2015)*. Winners will receive a cash prize of up to $10,000. Such achievements might include the development of an innovative solution to a societal problem, creation of a significant community program, or publication of an important work. In all cases, it is important that the outstanding achievement touches the lives of others in meaningful ways and demonstrates impact. The Matthew J. Quinn Prize will be awarded by the Board of Directors of the Foundation to the individual(s) selected. The foundation may award prizes of less than $10,000 or divide the prize among multiple recipients. The recipient(s) will be honored at Scholars Weekend.

* Scholars who applied previously are eligible for reapplication. Recent winners are currently ineligible to apply again.

 

SELECTION PROCESS

Any Cooke Foundation associate/adviser, program coordinator, Scholar, or alumnus/a may nominate one current higher education Scholar or alumnus/a for the Quinn Prize. Scholars may also nominate themselves. Nominators must fill out a brief Nomination Form with a description of the achievement and the nominee’s relevant characteristics. The nominee will then be contacted by Foundation staff to provide a Nominee Form, a resume or CV, and letter of recommendation discussing the nominee’s achievement. Scholars that self-nominate will need to complete a Nominee Form for Self Nomination. The Foundation will review additional supplemental materials on a case-by-case basis. Select staff will review all applications and make final recommendations to the selection committee. This selection committee of senior staff will recommend the finalist(s) to the Board of Directors.

 

SELECTION CRITERIA

The foundation will select one or more prize recipients who best exhibit the following accomplishments and characteristics:

  • Extraordinary achievement in an academic field, the arts, or public service.
  • The traits that have marked Mathew Quinn’s life and career: concern for others, love of learning, creativity, integrity and leadership.

 

FUNDING

The Quinn Prize of up to $10,000 is a cash award given directly to the recipient(s). The recipient(s) may use the award for any purpose and, for current Cooke Scholars, it will not be considered in the determination of their scholarship amounts. 

Deadline is January 29, 2016 for Nomination Forms and March 18, 2016 for Nominee Forms. The Quinn Prize will be presented at Scholars Weekend 2016.  

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR NOMINATION

For nominators

The Nomination Form deadline is January 29, 2016 and must be submitted to either the mailing address or email listed below. Once received by the foundation, the nominee will receive an email from the foundation with a Nominee Form attached.

For nominees

Nominees will be asked to submit a brief Nominee Form to the foundation. If a Cooke Scholar self-nominates, he/she will be asked to complete a Nominee Form for Self Nomination. The nominee will be asked to submit their Nominee/Self-Nominee Form and supporting documents to the foundation by March 18, 2016. The supporting documentation must include:

  • A resume/CV (students must submit a resume).
  • A letter of recommendation from a teacher, community leader, or some other person who can write about the nominee’s achievement in specific terms.

The supporting documents must be submitted by the nominee, not the nominator. Any additional supporting documents a nominee would like to submit must receive prior approval. Please submit request for approval to quinn@jkcf.org.

Nomination Forms can be submitted through:

Matthew J. Quinn Prize
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation                                     or      quinn@jkcf.org
44325 Woodridge Parkway
Lansdowne, VA 20176                                                    

Please make sure to indicate “Matthew J. Quinn Prize” on the envelope or in the email subject line.

 

ABOUT FOUNDING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MATTHEW J. QUINN

Matthew-J-QuinnMatthew J. Quinn was born in Brooklyn in 1935. His parents were Irish immigrants with less than grade-school educations. Dr. Quinn’s father drove a streetcar; his mother cared for their home and raised three children.

Dr. Quinn’s life changed when he had the opportunity to attend Brooklyn Prep, a highly selective Jesuit high school, where the teachers helped him discover his love of learning. He went on to spend 12 years with the Society of Jesus, during which time he received three degrees: a B.A. in classics and an M.A. in English from Fordham University and a Ph.L. in philosophy from Woodstock College. He also served in the Society’s mission in the Philippines for three years. As part of his extracurricular activities while a Jesuit, he sang lead for the Woodstock Singers, a group of seminarians that gave frequent concerts on tour, appeared on T.V., and recorded for CBS Records.

After leaving the Jesuits, Dr. Quinn joined a Manhattan advertising firm and then began a distinguished career in higher education spanning 45 years. He earned two additional degrees—a Ph.D. in management of higher education from Boston College and a J.D. from Fordham University—and held significant positions at Saint Joseph's University, Iona College, the New Jersey Department of Higher Education, Boston College, and College of the Holy Cross. He became president of Carroll College in Helena, Montana, in 1989.

Dr. Quinn served as founding executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation from 2000 to 2010, leading the creation of the Foundation’s scholarship programs. This position was an ideal intersection of his many interests and talents: his knowledge of higher education, his curiosity about many academic disciplines, his management and leadership skills, and his commitment to helping people grow and develop to their fullest potential. The Foundation benefited significantly from his creativity, open-mindedness, wisdom, congeniality, strong ethical compass, and commitment to serving others.  

Dr. Quinn is also a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He continues to serve on a number of nonprofit boards and is a talented photographer. He is passionate about his family, Cape Cod, poetry, and chocolate ice cream. He enjoys singing Gilbert and Sullivan tunes and began studying the piano when he turned 70.