Major Gift from Steven ('79) and Michelle Trulaske Will Enhance International Study Opportunities for DePauw Students

Major Gift from Steven ('79) and Michelle Trulaske Will Enhance International Study Opportunities for DePauw Students

April 19, 2007

Michelle & Steve Trulaske.jpgApril 19, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - A major gift by Steven L. Trulaske '79 and his wife Michelle will support international studies at DePauw University. Announced today as DePauw's Board of Trustees began its spring meeting, the gift will underwrite the semester- or summer-long off-campus study experiences of at least 30 upper-class students each year through the Steve and Michelle Trulaske International Scholarship Fund, in addition to at least 20 first-year students who participate in the newly established DePauw-Ecuador Summer Program before the start of their first year in college.

"By making this gift, Michelle and I are affirming our belief that DePauw's long-term strategic goal of internationalizing the University will produce future graduates who can contribute even more to our global society," says Steve Trulaske, a Globe3.jpgmember of DePauw's Board of Trustees. "Beyond being an investment in young people and the University, it is a pledge to create greater understanding among students of the world in which they will live and work, and we trust, change for the better."

"DePauw's goal of becoming an increasingly international University takes a large step forward today, thanks to the generosity of Steve and Michelle Trulaske," according to DePauw President Robert G. Bottoms. "Now, students who desire to participate in these two programs will be eligible for significant scholarship assistance. The Trulaskes are opening the doors to a world of opportunity for DePauw students, now and for generations to come."

Open to admitted students who are enrolled to enter the University in the fall, the DePauw-Ecuador Summer Program -- which begins this summer -- offers an intensive, five-week experience in Spanish language immersion, cultural awareness and international service. Participants (primarily first-generation students with no previous international experience) will spend three weeks on the DePauw campus, then two weeks in Quito, Ecuador. The program Quito Ecuador.jpgis designed to acquaint students with the dynamic global community they will live in, and the importance of dealing effectively in multi-national environments.

"I believe the program has great potential to serve as a valuable recruitment tool for the Office of Admission, as it provides an exceptional opportunity for students to gain international exposure -- and a taste of campus life -- even prior to the start of their first semester," says Stefanie Niles, vice president for admission and financial aid at DePauw. "With its strong tradition of community service opportunities and initiatives, the University attracts those students who are drawn to serving others and reaching out to provide assistance to those in need. The Ecuador Summer program is yet another way in which students can find an outlet for these efforts and work to make a difference in others' lives."

Niles reports that 80 admitted students applied for the program's 20 spots in its inaugural year, "a clear indicator that this unique experience is of great interest to young scholars."Student Tulips Spring 2007 1.jpg

"The DePauw Ecuador Summer program allows us to expose students to two transformative arenas for personal development -- service and international study -- at the very beginning of a student's DePauw experience," adds Robert Hershberger, professor of modern languages (Spanish) at DePauw, who will be leading the first immersion program this June 25 - August 1. "With this program we are also immersing students in the heart of the university's strategic initiatives of globalization and ethics. We couldn't ask for a better beginning for our students and are delighted that funding this program acknowledges the real-world value of Spanish. With DePauw's growing emphasis on globalization, we are excited to offer a means to allow more of our students an opportunity to embrace an international perspective."

The Trulaske's gift will also support students who wish to study in Segovia, Spain, for a fall or spring semester, or a summer term. The Steve and Michelle Trulaske International Scholarship Fund affords students an opportunity to improve their language skills and gain a unique cultural understanding of Spain's literature, art and history, as well as its emerging role in the European Union. Applicants must have completed a 300-level course in Spanish.

"I believe this is one of few programs that affords students a rare opportunity to leave the life of a typical Students Walking.jpgAmerican and experience the life of a typical Segovian," says Kate Knaul, director of international education and off-campus study at DePauw. "The quality of the program staff, the access to Segovians -- both in and out of class -- and the opportunities to truly experience the language and culture will greatly enhance our students' cultural and linguistic proficiency. It is this kind of program that will allow DePauw to graduate students who are even more capable of living and working in multiple cultural contexts," adds Knaul, who also serves as assistant dean of academic affairs. DePauw plans to add other international programs in the future to those supported by the Steve and Michelle Trulaske International Scholarship Fund.

The total of 50 additional students gaining international experiences through the generosity of the Truslaskes brings DePauw close to its goal of increasing the percentage of graduating seniors who have had an international experience from the present level of 60% to 75%. Winter Term Service.jpg

A national survey finds that DePauw University is again among the nation's top colleges and universities for the percentage of students who study abroad. Read more about the Open Doors report in this previous story.

One of the initiatives in the University's strategic plan calls for an increased focus on internationalizing DePauw. In the fall of 2006, DePauw's incoming class had more international students (34) than any in at least nine years, and with 20 returning international students, the total international enrollment is 54. The United States Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, praised the University's internationalization efforts in a speech at October's DePauw Discourse.