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Rodger and Carin Stutz
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Carin and Rodger Stutz Scholarship Established

June 11, 2019

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MACOMB, IL - - John F. Kennedy paraphrased the quote, "To those whom much is given, much is expected." Western Illinois University alumni Rodger and Carin Stutz believe that the best investment they can make for future generations is one in education. The couple recently established the Carin and Rodger Stutz Scholarship.

The 1978 graduates both recognize that without the aid and scholarship assistance they received as students, they would not have had the means to complete their education, nor would they have the success in their careers that they have had. Since Rodger graduated from WIU with a degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration (LEJA), and Carin received a degree in Home Economics, the scholarship will alternate annually between a student in LEJA and a student in Hospitality Management as the recipient.

"We treasured our years spent at Western. We received a good educational foundation to begin our careers," said Carin. "We have stayed active with alumni events, have watched the challenges that WIU has faced with funding and understand the heavy burden of student loans. Our hope is that in some small way we can help alleviate some of those expenses for students choosing a career in law enforcement or hospitality."

Carin said that she and Rodger have tried to live their lives with intent and purpose by giving back and mentoring others. Both of their career choices were about serving others.

"Western professors not only taught classroom work, but they had an emphasis on ethics, which is how we continue to lead our lives today," she said. "We are true believers that education is the best investment we can make for future generations. Western is the first place that we wanted to invest, and we encourage others to do the same."

Carin recently received a Distinguished Alumni award, which recognizes alumni who have brought credit to the University and themselves through exceptional professional accomplishments, meritorious service to ensure the continued excellence of WIU and through service to their communities at the national, state or local levels, at the 2019 spring commencement ceremonies. She is the former chief operating officer and executive vice president for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., with more than four decades of experience in the restaurant industry and is credited as a strategic leader specializing in driving operational excellence, building great teams and creating shareholder value, along with extensive franchise and international experience.

Rodger is a retired Aurora, IL, police officer, who worked in a division focusing on gangs and burglaries.

"We greatly appreciate the generosity of Carin and Rodger in establishing this scholarship. WIU students are lucky to have alumni who have been where they are and recognize the importance of giving back, and who are able to provide financial support to help students achieve their future successes," said Paul Bubb, executive director of development.

"Everyone needs at least the opportunity to continue their education, and we, as alumni, can help make those dreams come true," Carin added. "We are so proud of being graduates of WIU and wish nothing but the best for our school for years to come."

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations