Cornelsen Challenge Will Make Internship Opportunities Accessible to All DePauw Students

President Brian W. Casey announced today that Katherine Cornelsen St. John ’90, Kristina Cornelsen Boctor, and The Cornelsen Charitable Foundation of St. Louis have made a lead gift of $750,000 to challenge DePauw University alumni and parents to join them in creating an endowment to support unfunded student internships undertaken through the Kathryn F. Hubbard Center for Student Engagement at DePauw.

The goal of the challenge is to secure a total of $1.5 million in funds to permanently endow grant support to cover living expenses and other costs for DePauw students who might not otherwise be able to seek full-time internships (particularly in the summer).  Many internships, particularly first internships, are often unfunded, or the pay is too modest to be affordable.  Funds will also support students conducting research with DePauw faculty or in other labs in the United States, as well as students attending professional conferences.

“Internship opportunities like the ones provided through the Hubbard Center are a central element of how we help our students prepare to lead lives of purpose and accomplishment,” said President Casey.  “I am immensely grateful to Katherine, Kristina and the Cornelsen Foundation for their leadership in this challenge.  We must ensure that our students have the means to take advantage of these opportunities.” 

By securing endowment funds of $1.5 million, the challenge aims to provide at least $75,000 per year in support, allowing 35-50 students every year to experience opportunities not otherwise possible.  Hubbard Center programs also support countless other students in securing paid experiences or opportunities funded through other means.  Thus far, lead gifts in excess of $480,000 have been raised, which amounts to approximately a third of the funds for the Cornelsen Challenge.

“These internship experiences provide a personal and professional jumpstart for these students, including for many students who are interested in the non-profit field, where internships are rarely funded,” said Raj Bellani, dean of experiential learning and career planning at DePauw.  “Many of these organizations can offer students the opportunity to work directly on a wide-range of projects, but lack the resources to support a paid internship program.”

“Through this challenge and the additional funds it will raise, we will create a more robust program that provides students with opportunities that give them a professional advantage,” Bellani added. “We have made student preparation a core initiative at DePauw and this program will ensure that our students strengthen their skills and gain the experience they need when seeking future internship or full-time positions in their chosen career fields.”

Since piloting the DePauw Summer Internship Program in 2013, more than 60 students have secured internships (many of them unfunded) with the support of the Hubbard Center.  For many of these students, an initial unfunded summer internship sets the stage for a funded (paid) internship the following year.

“More so than ever before it is essential that students have opportunities to connect what they learn in the classroom with the worldbeyond campus,” said Katherine Cornelsen St. John ’90 and Kristina Cornelsen Boctor, the lead donors for the Cornelsen Challenge. “This Challenge is about ensuring that even greater numbers of DePauw students have these opportunities.”

The Cornelsen Challenge will take place during the month of March 2015.  A 2:1 match will be available for donors who did not make a gift of any kind in fiscal year 2013-14, and a 1:1 match will be applied to the increase above one’s 2013-14 total giving to DePauw.  For more information regarding the Cornelsen Challenge, click here or call (800) 446-5298.


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