Two new graduates receive Cooke scholarships

Author: Arts and Letters


Two members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2005 have won Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarships, which provide up to $50,000 annually for up to six years of graduate or professional studies.

Caitlin Polley, a double major in biology and Spanish from Bethel Park, Pa., and Enrique Schaerer, a double major in political science and finance from Las Vegas, are two of only 76 winners nationwide. Notre Dame is one of only six institutions to have two students selected to receive the scholarships.

A National Merit Scholar, Polley was a member of the Dean’s List each semester while at Notre Dame. She completed a semester abroad in Toledo, Spain, and was active with the University’s Center for Social Concerns. She served as a volunteer at Casa Juan Diego in Houston and the Spanish Red Cross in Toledo, and completed summer service projects in Ecuador and Louisiana. She will pursue her graduate studies in medicine and public health at the University of Pennsylvania.

Selected valedictorian of his graduating class, Schaerer earned a 4.0 grade point average and was a member of the Dean’s List each semester. He also received a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Scholarship, as well as the Dailey Memorial, Starshak Family, and H.E. Vertin Scholarships, and was awarded the first Julian Samora Scholarship by Notre Dame’s Hispanic Alumni Association. He plans to pursue his graduate studies at Yale University.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established by the late Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. Cooke was a businessman, sportsman and philanthropist. His business interests included ownership of the Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Cooke Foundation has become one of the nation’s most prominent and generous scholarship providers, with a particular emphasis on students who grew up in, or have strong ties to, Virginia, Maryland or the District of Columbia.

Originally published by Julie Flory at on August 01, 2005.