Ethnic Alumni Association honors students

The Ethnic Alumni Association will hand out scholarships to two Marquette students at the 35th Educational Opportunity Program Reunion Thursday at the Haggerty Museum of Art.

The recipients of this year's Ethnic Alumni Association's Ralph H. Metcalfe, Sr. Scholarship are Jonelle Castillo, a College of Communication junior, and William Heard, a senior in the College of Business Administration.

"I'm really happy that I received it," Castillo said. "It's nice to be recognized. It helped me a lot with school."

"It's an honor," Heard said. "It's nice to know that people recognize the little things you do in life."

Besides working for MUTV and being a member of Alphi Xi Delta, a social sorority, Castillo is the cultural events coordinator for the Bayanihan Student Organization.

She said she is excited to go to the EOP celebration and see what the EAA does.

Heard is part of the Financial Management Association, a business student organization, and tutored at Marva Collins Prep, a Milwaukee inner-city grade school.

Heard said Marquette handles diversity issues better than most universities and it continues to work on current diversity issues.

Castillo and Heard are deserving of the scholarships, according to Valerie Wilson Reed, a 1979 College of Communication graduate and EAA president.

"Both are very fine representatives of students at Marquette," Reed said. "We feel that they will be very successful when they become alumni of Marquette themselves."

Both recipients said they were contacted by the EAA about the scholarship and decided to apply.

About 35 people applied for the two $1,000 scholarships, according to Reed.

She said the organization chose the students based on a combination of their essays, commitment to diversity at Marquette and in the surrounding community, their service to the surrounding community, grade point average and financial need.

Reed said the EAA chooses one recipient who is part of the EOP and one who is not affiliated with the group.

The students applied in April and were chosen in May.

Applications for the 2005 scholarship will be sent out to other minority students in April.

Reed said the scholarship was renamed recently to reflect Metcalfe, a 1936 Marquette graduate who attended the university on a track scholarship. According to Reed, he was a U.S. Olympic champion and regarded as "the world's fastest human" for a number of years.

Reed said Metcalfe was a four-term congressman for Illinois, where he was raised. Before that he was the president of the Chicago City Council, served in the U.S. Army and taught at Xavier University from 1936 to 1942.

Metcalfe graduated as the student body president with magna cum laude recognition, Reed said. He was one of the first black students to attend Marquette.

"Marquette had a history of inclusion of minorities at a time when other private universities did not," Reed said.

Renaming the scholarship after Metcalfe is not only honoring him but Marquette as well, according to Reed.

The EAA revolves around Marquette's students and alumni of color, according to a Sept. 8 press release. Reed said the organization helps recruit future minority students, mentors existing students and fundraises for scholarships given to matriculating students.