$100,000 gift to support Latino students

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Some 100 top-performing Latino high school students, who were on campus last week for the National Hispanic Institute’s Midwest Great Debate,

were among the first to hear about a $100,000 gift to Augustana College from Bob and Blenda Ontiveros.

With their gift, the Ontiveros have established an endowed scholarship to assist students of underrepresented populations and/or Latino heritage, according to W. Kent Barnds, vice president of enrollment, communication and planning. “This scholarship is intended to make excellence in higher education attainable and affordable and to encourage a diverse student population,” he said.

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Barnds described Ontiveros as “a self-made man” and a “very generous person.” With his wife’s support, Ontiveros founded Group O in 1974. Group O is based in Milan, Ill., and offers marketing, supply chain and packaging solutions to other companies. Group O employs more than 1,500 people, and is recognized as one of the largest Hispanic-owned businesses in North America.

“Bob Ontiveros gives of himself in many ways — serving as a member of the Augustana Board of Trustees, supporting many local non-profits, and offering tremendous leadership to the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,” Barnds said. “He is a great example of the American dream.”

After the scholarship announcement, Ontiveros addressed the NHI attendees. He provided three pieces of advice: have a dream, work hard and be proud of your heritage.

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“The Ontiveros Scholarship is a true blessing to Augustana and to its students,” says Lynn Jackson, Augustana’s Vice President of Advancement. “The college is dedicated to advancing diversity across its campus, including through a diverse student body. Bob and Blenda are helping us do that by making college affordable and attainable to talented students who will enrich our campus.”

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