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Give to Carthage

The Bridge Fund

Before even coming to Carthage, Carolyn Ludecke ’17 knew what passions she wanted to pursue. She just didn’t know how to make attending Carthage a reality. “My senior year of high school, I was incredibly upset that I couldn’t go to Carthage, the college of my dreams, due to finances.”

Carolyn LudeckeRight from the beginning, her monthly payment was a constant concern. “The July before my freshman year, my birthday present was that month’s tuition payment. I was able to make it month-by-month — I was paying for school on my own — but I had the back-up of my parents if I needed a little extra money occasionally. My mom lost her job in May, so that safety net no longer existed as I made my way into my sophomore year. Luckily I received the Bridge Grant again and I was once again able to re-enroll in Carthage.”

The Bridge Grant made enrolling and continuing at Carthage go from impossible to possible for Carolyn, who continues to work to pay tuition. Every dollar of financial aid is time that she can focus on her studies instead of working. “The Bridge Grant made it affordable and I can’t thank anyone enough for that.”

Carolyn has become very active in the campus activities, taking full advantage of her time. “Freshman year I tried a lot of clubs, but the only one I went to repeatedly was Swing Dancing Club. This year, I have Swing Society and Wave Radio. I also go to events that fit into my schedule, such as the movies they show, Casino Night, dances. As a history major, I attend many lectures.”

After graduation Carolyn wants to put both her communication and history majors to use, advertising for a museum like the Smithsonian.


• • •

In his senior year of high school, Rami Fakhoury ’22 was the number one pitcher on the varsity baseball team. He wanted to find a college with excellent academics, top athletics programs, and was close to home. That search led him to Carthage.

Rami Fakhoury '22

“My time at Carthage has been incredible. Besides the beautiful campus, I’ve greatly enjoyed the close-knit community and friendly student body and faculty.”

Remi’s path to Carthage has not always been easy.

“My family has had many financial hardships in the last decade and this scholarship means a lot to all of us. Most parents want to do as much for their kids as they possibly can and it has been challenging to see my parents feel as they haven’t done enough. Through these hardships, I’ve learned that just because you are in a bad situation doesn’t mean you have to stay there. I am motivated to keep working hard and this award has given me extra encouragement and affirmation to keep going.”

“This means more than you know, and I am and will always be incredibly thankful. Thank you for the difference you are making in the lives of students like myself.”

Rami is majoring in finance and is a member of the Carthage baseball team.

• • •

When Jillian Kirschbaum’s home caught fire three weeks before her high school graduation, her parents had to use money set aside for her college tuition to pay for the repairs. Devastated, Jillian gave up hopes of attending Carthage — even her acceptance letter was burned in the fire.

Jillian Kirschbaum“My whole world was turned upside down,” she said. “It was three weeks before my senior year ended and my family was living in a hotel.”

Jillian made plans to stay home and possibly attend her local community college that fall. Everything changed, though, when Jillian and her dad met with the Financial Aid Office at Carthage. They learned of a Bridge Fund, a fund that provides emergency aid for students facing financial crises.

Because of the Bridge Fund, Jillian was able to begin her freshman year at Carthage.

“My dad and I were sitting in the office crying,” she said. “Even my dad was crying. The Bridge Fund has helped me get through college, and without it, I wouldn’t be here.”

Today, Jillian is majoring in business administration with a double minor in psychology and philosophy.

“Carthage is more than a college. The students, faculty and staff strive for success for not only themselves, but for the entire community,” she said. “Carthage is a support system and family. I am so grateful that through hard work, motivation from those surrounding me, and the generous support of alumni donors, that I am able to take part in the Carthage experience.”

• • •

During his junior year, Logan Dolehide ’18 and his family experienced an unimaginable tragedy.

Logan Dolehide '18

“My father was driving home from refereeing a water polo match when he was shot and killed in the crossfire of some type of gang conflict.”

Although Logan was close to graduating with a near-perfect GPA when the tragedy occurred, the loss of his father and the family’s primary provider threatened to derail his education.

“This Bridge Scholarship has helped me immensely in reducing the financial stress that this tragedy has caused, and in turn just easing mine and my family’s emotional turmoil.”

“My father would be so proud of what I have accomplished thus far and I know he will be watching as I continue to learn and grow in the future.”

Logan is currently working for an investment management company in the Greater Chicago Area.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …