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

2018 was a record-breaking 25th year for the Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund.

We held our annual Awards Dinner in April, extending a record $50,000 in scholarships to the highest number of Cherry scholars in the Fund’s history. In June, profits generated by our Annual Golf Tournament in June exceeded our expectations. And in September, we celebrated our 25th anniversary and in the process, produced an additional $240,000.

We thank our outstanding Board of Directors and the entire Cherry community for this outstanding level of support. It has enabled us, for the 2019 Warren Cherry Scholarship year, to increase our tuition scholarship to $6,000 for full-time students and to $3,000 for part-time students. Other finalists will receive increased text book grants of $1,500 (full-time) and $750 (part-time).

I hope you will consider donating to the Cherry Scholarship Fund. We need your help so we can continue our work of investing in the continuing education of ETHS graduates. Several past Cherry recipients are now teaching our future leaders. Without the scholarships they received, their dreams may have been unfulfilled.

Thank you in advance for your continued support and investment in our past, present and future scholars.


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.


Patty Cherry Reece


Robert Reece


Ann Stevens

1st Vice President

Mimi Spivack

2nd Vice President

Sandra Vitantonio


Dennis O’Callahan


William Speth

Member at Large


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