Below is another recent scholarship application letter. In this case, the scholarship is awarded to students of Polish descent.
My name is Nicholas Rolinski and with the support of my wife, Mary, I am pursuing a Master’s Degree in Architecture at the University of Notre Dame. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story as a graduate student, and explore ways in which my Polish ancestry can further inform my perception of our built environment.
With dual Master’s Degrees in both Engineering (completed in 2011) and Architecture (expected 2017), I’d like to become a licensed practitioner and instructor in the college setting. My goal is to coalesce my knowledge of engineering and architectural design at natural intersections such as sustainability, consumer safety, human factors, and optimization. It’s critical for me to leverage every fundraising opportunity available as I pursue this academic experience. My program is full-time, and will take three years, but as a 27-year old father and husband, I am first tasked with providing for my family along the way. Along these lines, I prefer to liken my academic pursuit to a famous story of the Renaissance Architect, Brunelleschi.
Construction on Brunelleschi’s Dome at Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence was started before the project’s technical feasibility was fully understood. It was commenced based on faith that the engineering challenges would be resolved during the 100 years of masonry construction. Not only was the Dome completed successfully, it advanced construction technology considerably through on-the-job problem solving.
I was recently reminded of the magnitude of such an undertaking when I made an architectural pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. Josaphat, in Milwaukee. There, the local community of Polish Immigrants also made big plans based on faith. Today, their ingenuity and perseverance reads very clearly from the street below. Complete with a renaissance dome of its own, the Basilica, like Brunelleschi’s Dome, even features an example of problem-solving acumen- it reuses remains from a dismantled Chicago Post Office!
This attitude, embodied in both building examples is appropriate for our family’s experience at Notre Dame. My wife and I have temporarily forgone our incomes to allow me to pursue my goal. We haven’t fully determined the financial feasibility yet, but like those Italian Renaissance builders and Polish-American Parishioners, we have faith in God and each other that we will succeed. With a baby girl in tow, our faith must be strong, and our work towards a feasible strategy must be diligent. I believe that this strategy can involve the Kosciuszko Foundation, in a manner consistent with the Foundation’s mission. As such, I wish to express my thanks for your interest and consideration.
Nicholas E. Rolinski
UPDATE – SUMMER 2015: