Photo from behind of a CWRU grad looking at the audience during commencement

New fund to expand student access to experiences beyond the classroom

Keeping talented students enrolled, while developing their sense of academic and social belonging, is as important as removing the financial barriers to affording an education. 

Through the generosity of Candace and Vince (MED ’73) Gaudiani, and coinciding with Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday on Jan. 15, Case Western Reserve University has established the Dream Fund to improve access to co-curricular and extracurricular experiences for under-resourced undergraduate students. 

Helping deserving students achieve their fullest potential, selected applicants will receive a $2,500 award to offset the cost of conference attendance, leadership development, studying abroad, living expenses related to internships, professional development and other experiential education opportunities, and more.

“We want everyone to succeed, no matter what their resources are,” said Vince Gaudiani, who also serves as a university trustee. “Every student was carefully chosen to be part of the Case Western Reserve community, and Candace and I want every student to be able to experience anything they dream about.” 

Applicants for funding will be asked to submit an essay detailing how an award would help them achieve their dreams. Winners will also complete a one-on-one professional development coaching session to help put their plans into action. Students may apply for funding through the Division of Student Affairs.

In celebration of the program’s launch, the Gaudianis, who provided the initial support to the Dream Fund and the Student Emergency Fund, have committed an additional $50,000 as a match challenge to immediately expand this initiative. To make a gift in support of this challenge, please visit