Art education student Maria Campbell (class of 2021) knew from an early age that she wanted to be an artist. "I would go on jobs with my mom as she painted people's houses, and I was taught how to draw and paint by the age of three," she explained. By high school, she had developed an interest in multiple art forms and decided that art education might be the path for her.
"Being an art education major, I knew there would never be any doubt that I'm doing what I love every day," she said.
Maria was excited to find out that she had been accepted into the University of Illinois, her first choice of schools. Learning that she had received the first Rojc Scholarship reaffirmed her dedication to her career path: "I felt I was already being accepted as an artist because of this scholarship," she explained. "I am truly honored to be the one who received this scholarship because I know how hard and rare it is to receive financial aid of any sort."
Maria intends to become a high school art teacher. "My years as a high school artist were the most influential," she said. "I want to be the teacher who encourages students to push their boundaries and develop their artwork past their original ideas."
"This scholarship drives me to succeed because I know that the Rojc family believed in my abilities as an artist before I was even able to really prove myself as being worthy."
About the John and Antoinette Rojc Scholarship
Antoinette and John Rojc
John and Antoinette Rojc immigrated to Chicago from central Europe—John from Slovenia in 1930 and Antoinette from the Moravian region of the Czech Republic in 1938. John Rojc became a designer at Motorola during the earliest stages of the cell phone. His career spanned 35 years, during which he was recognized with multiple patents. Antoinette Rojc raised their children in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with devotion to the importance of education. She was honored as a finalist for the University of Illinois Mom of the Year award in 1981.
The Rojcs' perseverance was rewarded upon the graduation of each of their children from the University of Illinois—Kenneth (BA, Economics, '77, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Kathleen (BFA, Graphic Design, '78, FAA), Karen (BS, Advertising, '82, College of Media), and Keith (BFA, Industrial Design, '84, FAA).
The Rojc Scholarship was established by their daughter Kathleen Rojc Twardock and her husband, David Twardock (BS, Civil Engineering, '79, College of Engineering), as well as their son, Kenneth Rojc. They chose to honor the Rojcs' dedication to the education of their children at the University of Illinois and the proud realization of their American dream.
Maria Campbell is the first Rojc Scholar.