SHU’s John F. Welch Scholarship Program Selects Inaugural Recipients

News Story: December 28, 2006

This fall, a new scholarship is helping three students get their start at Sacred Heart University.

The John F. Welch Scholarship was awarded to incoming first-year students Brendan Beatty of West Yarmouth, Mass., David Hellriegel of New Milford, N.J., and Nina Vecchio of Elmont, N.Y.

This honor is a national distinction and a tremendous way to begin a college career,” SHU President Dr. Anthony J. Cernera said. “While the Welch Scholarship presumes academic commitment and achievement, it involves so much more. We trust that those who hold this honor will become campus leaders distinguished by their deep humanity, their willingness to help others grow, and their pursuit of lifelong learning and service to the community.”

The Selection Committee also considers employment record and aspirations, community service activities, previous and current coursework, and intended major.

Mr. Welch is one of the most successful businessmen in history. The former Chairman and CEO of the General Electric Company, he was named “Manager of the Century” by Fortune magazine, and was referred to as “one of the greatest innovators of the past 75 years” by BusinessWeek. He is an active member of the SHU community, serving as a committed advisor to the College of Business that bears his name.

In January 2006, Mr. Welch gave his name to SHU’s College of Business.

As part of his commitment to the University, he has volunteered to be actively involved with the John F. Welch College of Business through ongoing advice and guidance. He will assist the College as it continues its mission of providing students access to a top-quality education and preparation for careers in business. 

“Jack Welch could have forged an alliance with virtually any business school in the world,” Dr. Cernera said. “He chose Sacred Heart University because he saw in us elements worthy of respect and encouragement. I know that he is particularly impressed with SHU’s mission of providing opportunity and access to students who are like himself: men and women of ordinary circumstances who possess extraordinary drive and potential. This new affiliation will ensure that Sacred Heart University will be there for generations to come to provide that environment and opportunity.”

The three recipients each received $10,000 toward their 2006-’07 tuition.

Brendan Beatty’s love for athletics is what spurred his choice of college major: sports management. While growing up, he played baseball, basketball, football, golf and soccer, and coached youth basketball for four years.

As for his SHU career, he began that one week early when he arrived on campus to participate in Community Connections, a week-long urban outreach program that provides freshmen with a first-hand opportunity to learn about urban realities and difficult economic conditions. Through the program, Brendan worked in Bridgeport with Habitat for Humanity, a group he’s still active with. “The whole Community Connections experience was pretty educational,” he said. “It was enlightening to see how bad things can get, but more importantly, how much we can help.”

Brendanis a member of the National Honor Society and winner of a Wheaton College Book Award.

David Hellriegel came to SHU on credible counsel: His father, a 1974 alumnus, was one of the first baseball players recruited from out of state to play for the Pioneers. David followed in many of his father’s sneaker-steps, playing high school baseball and basketball, serving as team captain for the latter, and most recently, joining the SHU community.

As much as David loves sports, he’s even more serious about business, and he exhibits a mature understanding of its impact on global politics. “How America conducts its business is paramount to how the world sees us and relates to us, and to how effective we are in making the world a better place,” he said.

David plans to use his SHU education as a foundation to launch a successful marketing career. He aspires to learn about the influence of visual imagery on people’s opinions, and he hopes to develop the skills he needs to be a visionary in his field. Hellriegel is a member of the National Honor Society, National French Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. 

Nina Vecchio’s list of activities is enough to fill most people’s calendar twice over: she served as president of her high school graduating class and as vice president and treasurer of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), participated in cheerleading and theatre, and donated time to Students and Teachers Against Cancer, UNICEF, and the American Cancer Society. And that’s just a partial list of her interests and activities.

Her high school academic accomplishments include the American Legion Brotherhood Award and second place in the New York state FBLA Business Communications Competition, along with membership in the National Honor Society and the Foreign Language Honor Society.

As for her college career, Nina’s aspirations are clear. “I hope to get my Business Administration degree, keep up a really good GPA so I can get into a good grad school, and I want to be involved as much as possible.”

In the past decade, SHU has doubled the financial aid provided to its students, not including institutionally distributed components of student financial aid packages, such as state and federal grants or loans. Nearly 90 percent of the University’s full-time undergraduates receive financial assistance, with special attention given to economically disadvantaged populations.