Harper is where we both started our college journeys, with both of us taking night classes and working to support our education. At that time, Harper was one of the only local choices, but the quality of the education that we received turned out to be second to none. We’ve both gone on to get degrees from other universities. We can say, with confidence that the instruction we received at Harper was as good as what we’ve seen in bachelors and masters level programs at other schools. We appreciate the opportunity to really make a difference in a student’s life through our donations.
When I (Eric) was just getting started in my career in IT, and not sure what I wanted to “be when I grew up.” I took an introduction to computer networking at Harper. The instructor was Bub Uhrina, and he was inspirational to me. Bob had a passion for his subject, but more than that, he had a pure joy to be teaching and really cared about his students. It was in his class that I learned how exciting the world of IT could be, and I’ve never looked back. Bob also helped me to learn the value of personal networking, and the connections you can make at Harper. A few years after taking his class, I reached out to Bob when I was looking for work in corporate IT. Bob helped me get hired at Sears, and while we were only coworkers for a short time, it was great for me to see that he treated his peers with the same caring and compassion that he did with his students.
For us, the scholarship is really about opportunity. It can be challenging to get ahead and be successful in the world, but with a strong work ethic and a little help, we believe that anybody can do it, and that’s what America is all about. We’re living proof of that ourselves, and this is our opportunity to help provide that help for others — so that hopefully they can do the same.
—Brenda and Eric Knox, Founding Scholarship Donors of the Knox Family Endowment Scholarship