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NIU Rockford Club


David & Diane Graf Rockford Endowed Scholarship

Through the generosity of the alumni of the College of Business and David & Diane Graf, the business leaders of tomorrow are getting a financial boost to assure their educational success.

Under the NIU Rockford Club's direction, scholarships have been awarded since 2005 to both incoming freshman and transfer students who are residents of the greater Rockford area (Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, and Stephenson counties). view all recipients...

Scholarship Forms

2014 Award Recipients

Bridget Barry

Bridget Barry
2014 David & Diane Graf Rockford Endowed Scholarship Recipient

Bridget Barry was selected as a 2014 David & Diane Graf Rockford Endowed Scholarship recipient based on her strong extra-curricular involvement, academic achievement, and drive towards career success. Bridget is a 2014 graduate from Forrestville Valley High School where she was a four year, 3 sport athlete, a member of the band for four years, and on the A and B honor roll every year. Bridget also served as treasurer of Future Farmers of America (FFA).

Bridget excels professionally as a cashier and waitress, in addition to a care giver for children. She believes holding a job helps to learn responsibility and dedication.

While attending NIU, Bridget plans to major in accounting – a subject she finds enjoyable with her strong interest and skillset in mathematics. She would like to one day own her own private practice. Bridget is energized to take what she learns at NIU and use it to make an impact and improvement in the professional world.

Grace Krienke

Grace Krienke
2014 David & Diane Graf Rockford Endowed Scholarship Recipient

Grace Krienke was selected as a 2014 David & Diane Graf Rockford Endowed Scholarship recipient based on her academic achievement, exceptional leadership experience, and the numerous awards and nominations she received. Grace is a 2014 graduate from Hononegah High School where she participated in a variety of extra-curricular activities, including, math club, a mentor program, student council, and tennis. Grace was a member of the National Honor Society (NHS) and was notably nominated for a multitude of teacher-nominated awards. Her achievements set her apart as a leader among her peers.

Outside of school, Grace was employed at First National Bank & Trust Company.

Grace describes herself as “a leader with the responsibility to do what is right, even when it is not the ‘cool’ thing to do.” She believes leadership is an act of character in which we are brought up with, and she tries to display leadership qualities in everything she does. While attending NIU, Grace plans to study accounting and work hard – striving to make changes in the world around her along with reaching her full potential.

Lips Khaemba

Lips Khaemba
2014 David & Diane Graf Rockford Endowed Scholarship Recipient

Lips Khaemba was selected as a 2014 David & Diane Graf Rockford Endowed Scholarship recipient based on his outstanding academic achievement at Rock Valley College and his exceptional community involvement both in Rockford and his home country, Kenya. Lips reached the Dean’s list throughout his education at Rock Valley College; he was also honored with achievement on the President’s list.

Lips attained many volunteer experiences, including Terminal Assistant at the Chicago Rockford International Airport, Habitat for Humanity, Technical Team Member at Harvest Bible Chapel of Rockford, and First Love Kenya, a charity organization that reaches out to orphans and widows in one of the biggest slums in Africa.

Lips had experience building an orphanage in Kenya, but had no qualifications to get a job when he came to America. A self-described “quick learner,” Lips learned carpentry skills and gained employment at Rockford Contractors and Don Dellamater Remodeling.

Growing up in the poorest part of Nairobi, Lips struggled with watching his peers become robbers and drug addicts. With hard work and determination, he made it through high school and was the only one in his family to do so. After graduating from high school, he moved out of the city and went to live in the country with his grandmother because he could not afford to go to college. He learned patience, persistence, determination, and hope. Lips had determined to go back to school, no matter how long it took. 15 years later and after relocating to America, he realized his dream.

Lips plans to pursue a degree in finance from NIU and become a Financial Analyst. He also plans to reach out to students from poor communities around the world and be an inspiration to them.