Kanes make student scholarships a family affair

Monday, August 3, 2015

Honoring thy mother and father is a commandment the Kane sisters have taken to heart.

While Northeastern Illinois University’s longest-running philanthropic event and its namesake scholarships are named after their father, former College of Education Associate Professor Charles Kane, the sisters were sure to include Virginia Kane in the giving as well.

As the NEIU Foundation gears up for the 43rd annual Chuck Kane Scholarship Golf Event on Aug. 17, the Kanes also remember their mother, who passed away in 2010.

“Mom always contributed financially to the tournament and to the school,” said Liz Kane, who along with her three siblings—Katie Kane, Mary Kane and Madeleine Slingerland —annually donates to the Chuck Kane Scholarship. “We thought it would be good to have a remembrance of her as well.”

In addition to being a professor, Chuck Kane also served as Northeastern’s athletic director and golf coach. Like her husband, Virginia was a teacher. She worked in the Chicago Public Schools system for 35 years.

“She was a constant learner,” Liz Kane said. “In her 60s, she went back to school and received her master’s degree in multicultural education.”

After Chuck Kane’s passing in 1972, his colleagues initiated the golf outing in his memory. Over time, the event has focused not only on sport and leisure, but has also emphasized the values of giving back by providing much-needed scholarships for deserving Northeastern students.

The $500 Virginia Kane Scholarship, which is awarded annually to outstanding full-time, part-time, graduate or undergraduate students, is one of seven scholarships funded by the Chuck Kane Scholarship Golf Event, which has raised more than $217,000 to benefit scholarships for more than 135 students.

Students who have been awarded Chuck Kane Scholarships say the award money has helped them stay focused on their education.

Samuel Jensen, who graduated from Northeastern in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and a minor in Health Education, said the scholarship helped keep him on a path that he hopes ends up in the Chicago Public Schools system.

“The scholarship ultimately lightened the financial burden of being a student and trying to balance time for work to keep up with bills,” Jensen said. “As I progress in my career, I hope to one day return the favor and sponsor scholarships myself so that the gift I have received is passed down to others and they are able to pursue their educational goals as well.”

Here is the complete list of scholarships that are a part of the Kane Scholarship Fund:

For more information about participating in the Chuck Kane Scholarship Golf event or making a donation, visit neiu.edu/kane. Contributions to the NEIU Foundation with “Chuck Kane Scholarship” noted in the memo line may be mailed to NEIU Foundation, 5500 North St. Louis Ave., Chicago, IL 60625.

Pictured above: Liz Kane (third from left) poses with scholarship recipients (from left) Gina Ridge, Max Caviness, Sam Jenson, Martha Frausto and Stephanie Kazior at Northeastern Illinois University’s 2015 Scholar-Donor Luncheon.