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Rockford University announces first Charles E. Box Scholarship recipient

Rockford native Antonio Evans is the first recipient of the Charles E. Box scholarship at...
Rockford native Antonio Evans is the first recipient of the Charles E. Box scholarship at Rockford University.(Rockford University)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 12:54 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford University on Monday announces the first recipient of the Charles E. Box Scholarship, a program that enables Black students to pursue a degree in business, free of charge at the Puri School of Business.

The first recipient, Antonio Evans, 40, said he decided to complete his degree to fulfill his lifelong goal of higher education, to give himself and his family options in the next stage of life, and to set an example for his three children. “I’m always preaching the importance of education to my kids and attaining this degree will allow me to practice what I preach,” he said.

Evans is a Rockford native who graduated from Jefferson High School. His personality, communication skills, and leadership attributes have fueled his career growth and positive impact at Rockford-area employers MCI Telecommunications and American Income Life Insurance Company, despite not having a degree.

Managers from both organizations wrote letters of recommendation commenting that Evans is “naturally gifted when it comes to business, leadership and entrepreneurship, when Antonio sets his mind to something there is nothing that will stop him from successfully completing what he has set out to do.”

Evans earned unanimous approval for the scholarship from the six-person panel who reviewed his application and conducted interviews. “Antonio is an exemplary candidate and a well-deserving recipient of the Charles E. Box Scholarship,” said Mandolen Mull, Ph.D., Chair of the Puri School of Business.

“The scholarship committee members were unanimously impressed with Antonio’s life goals and how, through his education, Antonio will be able to achieve those goals to better himself, our institution, and our greater Rockford community.”

The scholarships honor Box, a former Rockford Mayor, trustee of Rockford University, and committed lifelong community advocate. A pledge of $250,000 by the Puri Foundation will leverage over $800,000 in tuition for the recipients

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