Beginning in fall 2009, one fortunate freshman attending the University of Rochester's College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering will receive some extra financial aid – not from loan companies or the federal government, but from fellow students. The Midnight Ramblers Scholarship is the first permanent scholarship funded through a student-alumni partnership at the University. The Midnight Ramblers, a premier a cappella group on the campus, created the $5,000 award for an incoming freshman who demonstrates an appreciation and passion for music innovation.
"The Ramblers have been giving to the University community in extraordinary ways for the last 10 years," said Jonathan Burdick, dean of admissions and financial aid. "This is one more example of their dedication to the success of musical performance here."
Funds for the scholarship are raised through the sale of the Midnight Ramblers 10th anniversary anthology CD, which was created last year. A portion of the money earned from live performances also will supplement the scholarship endowment. The group plans to increase the amount of the scholarship over the next few years.
"This scholarship is especially meaningful because of the partnerships between the Ramblers, the admissions office, and our alumni," said senior Asher Perzigian, a four-year member of the Midnight Ramblers. "One of the founding goals of the Ramblers has been to enrich the community through a cappella, and this is a new, innovative way for us to meet that goal, and it's made possible through their support."
Since its inception in 1998, the all-male singing group has produced seven studio albums and has been featured on the nationally acclaimed Best of College A Cappella compilation CD. The group has also been invited to sing the national anthem at several Major League Baseball games and other sporting events throughout the country. The Ramblers volunteer throughout the City of Rochester and will head to New Orleans in March to perform in several of the municipalities stricken by Hurricane Katrina.