DAVENPORT, IOWA - The Quad Cities River Bandits announce that a St. Ambrose University student from the Quad Cities region will be awarded the third yearly scholarship as part of the Bandit Scholars Program, expanding the largest scholarship program in all of Minor League Baseball. The inaugural St. Ambrose scholarship will be awarded to a rising junior during the 2017 River Bandits season and helps to ensure that neither the recipient nor their family has any financial obligations for tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year. River Bandits owner Dave Heller and Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD, president of St. Ambrose, made the announcement at a press conference Monday at Modern Woodmen Park.
St. Ambrose joins Augustana College and Western Illinois University as the third participating school in the annual scholarship program for students from the Quad Cities region. This is the second consecutive year the River Bandits have added a scholarship to the Bandit Scholars Program, which was founded in 2009. With the addition of St. Ambrose, the Bandit Scholars Program now has an annual combined value of $60,000 for three scholarship recipients who also will earn the opportunity to work a paid internship with the River Bandits the following summer.
"Giving away these scholarships is the single most enjoyable thing I do as owner of the River Bandits," said Heller. "This scholarship program is meant to enhance the Quad Cities, and St. Ambrose is one of the finest educational institutions in Iowa. They epitomize all that is great about our community and our region, and we are elated to team with them to provide a first-rate college education to a deserving area student and reward someone who has a demonstrated commitment not merely of academic excellence but also of giving back to this wonderful community."
"St. Ambrose University is pleased to collaborate with the Quad Cities River Bandits organization as the newest member of the Bandit Scholars program," Sr. Lescinski said. "Scholarships help many of our students to afford a quality education. In addition, St. Ambrose has had great success with outreach to community employers in developing paid internship opportunities. This new initiative with the River Bandits will help SAU students gain invaluable insights into minor league baseball operations.
"This partnership is another example of our commitment to collaborating with local businesses and corporations to make the Quad Cities an even better place to live and work."
The new Bandit Scholarship will be administered by St. Ambrose. The award will be selected by a committee including St. Ambrose faculty and administration and the River Bandits' ownership and general manager. Funds for the program are raised through various events throughout the year, including the Race to Home 5K, annual golf outing and more. Donations can be made to the Bandit Scholars Program year-round by mail or in person at Modern Woodmen Park.
The scholarships are open to current rising juniors who reside in any of the following counties: Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside Counties on the Illinois side, and Cedar, Muscatine and Scott Counties on the Iowa side. Non-U.S. citizens and children or grandchildren of employees or owners of The Quad Cities River Bandits, employees of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL), employees or Board Members of St. Ambrose University, Augustana College, Western Illinois University and any member of the Scholarship Committee are ineligible for consideration.