Our Mission

The mission of the Warren W. “Billy” Cherry Scholarship, named in memory of a much loved and respected Evanston educator, is to perpetuate his acceptance of all people, his commitment to the highest standards of educational excellence and his energetic dedication to enriching the children and institutions of Evanston. The Cherry Scholarship was established in 1993, three years after Warren Cherry’s untimely death.

“I knew from the time that I was seven years old when my mother passed away, and teachers were there for me, that I wanted to be there for students and let them know they could be successful.”

Chairperson’s Message

It is with a sense of pride and profound gratitude that I inform you that the Cherry Scholarship Fund continues to break new ground. This year we awarded $36,000 to 18 individuals—the most ever. In the last six years we have awarded more than $200,000 to college students who are pursuing careers that will benefit young people in Evanston and elsewhere. And I believe we will continue to set new records in the future.

I want to thank the many people who made this year’s Awards Dinner such a success:

  • Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, for her opening remarks.
  • Dr. Gessel Berry, for the invocation.
  • Marcus Campbell, Assistant Superintendent/Principal at Evanston Township High School, for his inspiring        address.
  • Anamaria Rosales, a 2014-16 Cherry scholar, for her thoughtful reflections.
  • And as always, the Awards Dinner Committee for giving all who attended another memorable evening.

Finally, my sincerest thanks to everyone who supports the mission of the Warren “Billy” Cherry Scholarship Fund. Your contributions make a difference.

About Warren “Billy” Cherry

Warren was a charismatic educator and community leader. He lived the Golden Rule and worked relentlessly to create equity and balance in services and access. He was widely known and respected. His impact was legendary.

It is less widely known that “Billy” (as he was known by his ETHS classmates, friends and family) while popular and active in high school, was not a serious student. Back in the 1950s, few recognized his tremendous potential to lead and to help others realize their potential.

Warren “Billy” Cherry went to barber school after high school graduation and had a brief career as a barber before enrolling at Trinidad Jr. College in Trinidad, Colorado. His education culminated in a PhD program at Northwestern University.

Warren’s service to the Evanston/Skokie community included teaching at Timber Ridge School (now Bessie Rhodes Magnet School) and serving as Associate Principal of Skiles Middle School (now Martin Luther King Lab School). He was Principal at Central and Lincoln Schools. He also found time to serve on the boards of the ETHS Boosters Club, the Girl Scouts, the Justin Wynn Memorial Fund, the Mental Health Association, United Way, the McGaw YMCA and tutored at the Salvation Army.

Beloved by all, his life was cut dramatically short by cancer when he died in 1990. A small group of friends, colleagues, educators and fans (yes, fans) established the Warren “Billy” Cherry Scholarship Fund in 1993. Today, the fund has made funding a college education a little less burdensome for 164 Cherry Scholars.

Officers

Patty Cherry Reece

Chairperson

Robert Reece

President

Ann Stevens

1st Vice President

Mimi Spivack

2nd Vice President

Sandra Vitantonio

Secretary

Dennis O’Callahan

Treasurer

William Speth

Member at Large

Directors

Pam Akins-Schanette

Lun Ye Barefield

Elijah Brewer

Ann Bodine

William Bridges

Courtney Hammell

Lynn Hammell

Fred Hunter III

Matthew Hunter

Timon Jandora

Rose Johnson

Joe Keitel

David Levine

Nicki Pearson

Jake Rohde

Oliver Ruff

Gerri Sizemore

Abby Trueblood

Toly Walker

Advisory Board

Allan Alson

Steve Bernstein

Mark Dennis

Joseph Flanagan

James Fox

Paul Goren

Seth Green

Delores Holmes

Laurie Levy

Denise Martin

Lorraine Morton

Harvette Nelson

Rev. Robert Oldershaw

Stuart Opdycke

Hecky Powell

Evelyn Raden

Elizabeth Tisdahl

Eric Witherspoon

Cheryl Wollin