Scholarship founders recognized for impact they have had at Benedictine

May 2, 2014

cebrzynskifamilyLisle, Illinois ~ Benedictine University awards thousands of dollars in endowed scholarships to students every year.Some of the scholarships are funded by individual donors. Others are supported by fundraisers held by friends of the individuals for whom the scholarships are named. All make it possible for students to receive a values-based Benedictine education.

Recently, the founders of two scholarships were recognized for the impact those scholarships have had on donors, students and the Benedictine community.

Bob and Pam Cebrzynski of Downers Grove, who established the Cindy Cebrzynski Memorial Endowed Scholarship in memory of their late daughter, were awarded the Benedictine University Donor Impact Award. The award recognizes the impact the Cebrzynskis have had on the Benedictine community through their efforts in establishing and maintaining the scholarship.

Cindy Cebrzynski was a Benedictine student who was killed by a drunk driver in 2006. Since her death, the Cebrzynskis have sponsored an annual 5K memorial walk to raise funds for the scholarship. The walk has grown from a small event around the Benet Academy track to an integral part of Family Weekend at Benedictine, attracting 160 participants in 2013.

Since the scholarship was established in 2006, it has been presented to eight different students. Cindy's parents are now both actively involved in the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists. Bob is the president of the group's board of directors.

Meanwhile, the Benedictine University Student Impact Award was presented to Catherine Dyba-Tyree on behalf of her late parents, Thomas J. Dyba and his wife Lorraine Dyba of Downers Grove, who established the Lincoln Humanities Scholarship. The Student Impact Award recognizes the impact the scholarship has had on recipients and how they, in turn, have thrived.  

Thomas Dyba, the former executive vice president of Benedictine University, was passionate about Abraham Lincoln. He was a member of the Abraham Lincoln Society, constructed two scale models of the Lincoln home, built a model of the Lincoln funeral train and edited the newsletter, The Lincoln Chronicle.

Dyba used the proceeds from publishing two books on Lincoln, including "Seventeen years at Eighth and Jackson: The story of life in the Lincoln Home," to establish this endowment. He set a goal to increase the scholarship fund to $100,000.

"I didn't know it would feel so good to give money away," Dyba said some years ago. "It has been the most satisfying ongoing project I've ever tackled."

Dyba passed away in 1989 after a 20-month battle with cancer, but the scholarship ensures that his legacy and his passion for Lincoln live on.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2001-2011 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the third consecutive year in 2013. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area in 2013.


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