$5 million gift funds John Horan scholarship for incoming students


Eric Henry

The statue of Father John Egan outside of DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus.

DePaul Board of Trustees member Jennifer Steans and her two sisters, Robin and Heather Steans, have donated $5 million to establish the John Horan Endowed Scholarship program for incoming students. 

“The John Horan Endowed Scholarship Program will make it possible for students from North Lawndale to attend DePaul with all costs of enrollment covered,” a Newsline release said. “The gift also will fund a graduate assistant in DePaul’s Office of Multicultural Student Success to oversee the cohort of Horan scholarship recipients. Finally, the gift will ensure that the John Horan scholars have access to peer mentoring, laptops and support for internships and study abroad experiences.”

The program is named after John Horan, the founder and president emeritus of North Lawndale College Prep High School.

“My family wanted to honor John Horan by establishing a scholarship in his name for North Lawndale students to attend DePaul,” Jennifer Steans told Newsline. “John is one of the most inspiring people we know, and he will be a huge supporter and advocate for these scholars. We are proud to continue supporting John’s mission, and the mission of our family, in this way.”

University spokesperson Russell Dorn said the program is set to begin during the fall 2021 quarter. 

We will award at least two scholarships in fall 2021, and each year the scholarship committee will review their available funding to determine how many new scholarships can be awarded,” he said. 

Dorn said to qualify for the scholarship, students must be in good academic standing, demonstrate financial need and be graduates of North Lawndale College Prep. 

He added if no students fit the criteria, “preference will be given to students from the North Lawndale community” or students graduating from nine other high schools. 

The eligible high schools are: Aspira Business and Finance High School, Chicago Bulls College Preparatory School, DRW Trading College Prep, Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy, ITW David Speer Academy, Legal Prep Charter Academy, Rowe Clark Math and Science Academy, UIC College Prep: The LSV Campus of Noble Street Charter School and Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men: West Campus.

Eligibility for the program must be maintained through demonstrated financial need and good academic standing, according to Dorn. 

“Now more than ever, the challenges students face as a result of the pandemic call on us to uphold our Catholic and Vincentian values by taking care of one another and ensuring the success of our diverse community of learners,” President A. Gabriel Esteban told Newsline. “The Steans family, generous benefactors of our Irwin W. Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning, continue to be passionate supporters of our mission. We are grateful for their generosity on behalf of our students.”