Tuition assistance leads AE senior to college, role model status


Alberto Davila
Alberto Davila
The first person in his family to go to college, Aerospace Engineering at Illinois senior Alberto Davila says he has become a role model to his siblings and others.

“I want to not only graduate with my degree, but also set a standard so that my younger siblings may one day aspire to also go to college,” Davila said. “Various coworkers from summer jobs and family members have told me that I have played some sort of role in them seriously considering or beginning their collegiate careers. I am proud of that.”

Set to graduate in May, the Crest Hill, Illinois, native has had his tuition paid in full by the Give Something Back Foundation that Illinois alumnus Robert Carr has established. Carr donated $1 million to the University of Illinois on Giving Tuesday this week, to cover tuition, fees and room-and-board expenses for 50 future students.

Coming from a family of “modest means,” Carr had received a $250 scholarship from a local women’s club in his hometown of Lockport, Illinois, to help him go to college. The gift made an impact on him, and he promised himself he would pay it forward at some point.

Carr has gained that ability since his student days. Just this past year, he sold his Fortune 1000 company, Heartland Payment Systems, for $4.3 billion. See story.