Nicole Cooper Memorial Scholarship
A message from Mike Cooper '00
It has been ten years since my wife, Nicole, passed away from leukemia. It’s hard to believe it has been ten years. Sometimes it feels like it was a lifetime ago, but often it feels like yesterday.
I remember specific moments in time – the first time we met, our first date, trips we took, our wedding. More often, I think about who she was as a person and the impact she had on the lives of so many people. She was sweet, funny, goofy, forgiving, politically incorrect (yes, incorrect!), ultra-competitive, enduringly innocent, and would do anything for anybody. She loved her mom and brother unconditionally and was as loyal a friend as I’ve seen – her friends were family. She was spiritual and a devoted Catholic. Going to church weekly grounded her.
In honor and memory of Nicole I'm starting a fully endowed scholarship in Nicole’s memory at U of D Jesuit, my high school alma mater. Education was really important to Nicole. She was a proud graduate of Stagg High School and the Illinois Institute of Technology where she received a Bachelor of Architecture, a challenging five-year program. I remember her telling me the story of how she was an advocate on her brother’s behalf to find a generous donor who paid for his four years of private school at De La Salle Institute. More than once, she suggested to me it would be our responsibility to help a niece, nephew, or other child who might need assistance with paying for private high school or college. I am really excited about marrying Nicole’s passion for education with a school I care deeply about - U of D Jesuit. A scholarship will support an individual who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a special place like U of D Jesuit.
The U of D Jesuit mission, and the mission of all Jesuit schools, is to form “Men and Women for Others” who are committed to living lives of faith, love, service, and leadership “for the greater honor and glory of God.” Nicole was truly a “Woman for Others” and an incredible example to all who were fortunate to meet her. She was selfless, charitable, and devoted to her friends, family, and people she barely knew. I look forward to telling her story to young men who make their way to U of D Jesuit, a school and community that changed my life. I am certain her story would inspire the scholarship recipients to use their gifts and talents to make the world a better place and to honor Nicole’s life and legacy.
My goal is to raise $100,000 by the end of December 2021, which would allow a scholarship to be awarded to a deserving student next year. When the scholarship reaches $250,000 it will be recognized as fully endowed, which means one student would receive the Nicole Cooper Memorial Scholarship every four years and that student would receive aid during his entire time at the school. Even after we pass the $250,000 goal, I will continue to raise money so we can support more students in Nicole’s name over time. I humbly ask for your support in this cause and can’t thank you enough for your love and support.
You can use the online form below to make a tax deductible donation or pledge.
May God Bless You All,
Mike Cooper '00
When the fund reaches $250,000 it will be recognized as a fully endowed scholarship and will live in perpetuity.
Nicole and Mike Cooper '00