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Summerfest supports Cleary’s Gift of Graduation

Summerfest at the Stadium 2024 was a great success. The event, held on the Cleary University campus Friday, June 21, raised more than $65,000 in support of Cleary University’s Gift of Graduation, which helps students complete their education. 

Julea, now a Cleary University Senior, was “kicking it out of the park” with her education, soccer scholarship, resident assistant role and part-time receptionist position at Cleary, while maintaining a 3.5 GPA.

In almost an instant, it all started slipping away. Julea (pictured, center, with her roommates) was diagnosed with compartment syndrome, a medical condition that, if left untreated, could result in permanent injury. She had to quit the Cleary soccer team for good, interrupt her studies and request an absence from her job so she could concentrate on the pending surgery on both legs and her prognosis.

That’s when she learned about Cleary’s Gift of Graduation, a scholarship designed for students who face financial hardships at a critical time in their education – a few months before they can complete their final college credits and earn their degree.

Thanks to fundraising events like Cleary Summerfest as well as generous financial donations

throughout the year from the community, Gift of Graduation funds can help Cleary juniors and seniors complete their degree without interruption.

Julea will earn her bachelor’s degree in business communications from Cleary in December 2024. She applied for, and accepted, a full-time position at Cleary as its Enrollment Management Coordinator, and she will continue to work full-time while taking the last 15 credits she needs to reach the finish line!

“I knew it was going to be hard paying for my education on my own, but thankfully, I received a soccer scholarship, landed an RA position and got a part-time job at Cleary, which covered my tuition costs,” she says. “Now I want to give back to Cleary the same way they helped me. Cleary is my home away from home.”

It’s the second year in a row that Cleary University held Summerfest at the Stadium to invite the community onto campus for a fun night out to benefit a good cause. This year’s theme, Tacos, Tequila & Tunes drew more than 350 people to Lake Trust Stadium for drinks from Tap-Ins, tacos from local food trucks, and tunes from the Laith Al-Saadi Trio and Detroit Drive. A custom fireworks display ended the night with a bang.