March 5, 2020

Fuel the Finish: Acclaimed Detroit Youth Choir to headline benefit launching Honors College Finish Line Fund

The April 2 Irvin D. Reid Honors College event will include a special musical performance by the Detroit Youth Choir — widely known for their strong showing on America’s Got Talent — which embodies the Finish Line Fund’s “dream big” spirit.

John Corvino has a vision that someday the Irvin D. Reid Honors College, of which he is dean, will be fully endowed and tuition free for its students.

He also recognizes his big dream comes with a big price tag. That’s why Corvino and the Honors College have created the Finish Line Fund endowment to provide financial support for its seniors.

“What a great way to attract and retain academically high-achieving students at Wayne,” Corvino said. “But we have to start somewhere, which is why I’m focusing on the senior year. If we could offer seniors some additional tuition support, then they can focus on preparing for grad school, professional school and their careers instead of worrying about more debt.”

To help make this dream a reality, the Honors College will host Fuel the Finish! A Benefit to Launch the Irvin D. Reid Honors College Finish Line Fund on Thursday, April 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Waterview Loft at Port Detroit. The event will include a special musical performance by the Detroit Youth Choir — widely known for their strong showing on America’s Got Talent — which embodies the Finish Line Fund’s “dream big” spirit.

“Who would have thought that a youth choir would make it to the America’s Got Talent finals, much less finish second,” Corvino said. “What an inspiration these kids are — and what a great draw for the event. We are honored to have them perform.”

Corvino expects that the fund will not only attract talented students to the Honors College — which provides a supportive academic community and a rigorous course of study — but also encourage them to maintain good standing and finish strong.

“This fund is an awesome idea for the countless students who have worked tirelessly and are in need of some breathing room during their senior year," said Gino Arondoski, a 2018 Honors College graduate who majored in finance. "Such support can go a long way for a twentysomething trying to balance their work, social life and, most importantly, their future."

All event proceeds will support the endowment, initially expected to generate $1,000 scholarships for a handful of seniors selected on the basis of academic performance and financial need. Larger gifts or pledges ($25,000 or more) can be used to create named Finish Line Scholarships. Corvino’s own named scholarship, created to commemorate his 50th birthday last year, will be designated as a Finish Line Scholarship.

The College will also solicit several dozen “Friends of the Finish” to pledge at least $1,000 annually for five years. Instead of going to the endowment, “Friends of the Finish” funds will be awarded right away, allowing the Honors College to make many more “Finish Line” awards than the initial endowment will support.

“Of course I’d love it if a donor would knock on my door with a $50 million check,” Corvino said. “And such potential donors do exist. But for now, we’re going to be creative in building support for our students, one dollar at a time.”

For more information about Fuel the Finish event, or to buy tickets, go to honors.wayne.edu/finishline.