Gunnar Jauch, of Spring Valley, named IVCC 21st Century Scholar

Jauch honored along with 3 other finalists

Illinois Valley Community College 21st Century Scholar Gunnar Jauch (left) with finalists Makayla Ritko, Eric Lane and Chloe Bruce.

Gunnar Jauch, of Spring Valley, was named the Illinois Valley Community College Foundation 21st Century Scholar at a Thursday evening ceremony at Starved Rock Lodge.

Jauch was honored along with three other finalists at the 16th annual 21st Century Scholars Society dinner.

The son of Edward and Dana Jauch will transfer to Belmont University in Nashville next fall to double-major in economics and finance and plans to stay on at the university to pursue its joint, three-year JD/MBA program.

Attending IVCC for two years “has not only been one of the best decisions I’ve made but also one of the most important,” Jauch said.

In his acceptance speech for the $3,000 first place award, Jauch credited IVCC basketball coach Chris Herman and economics instructor Rick Pretzsch for their mentorship. It has helped him achieve a 3.9 GPA.

Finalists receiving $1,500 each were:

  • Chloe Bruce, of La Salle. The daughter of Tina Innis Bruce will transfer next fall to major in English and plans to pursue a master’s in library and information science.
  • Makayla Ritko, a 4.0 GPA student from Lostant, will transfer to Northern Illinois University next fall to pursue a bachelor’s in biology. The daughter of Tracy Ritko hopes to one day teach biology.
  • Eric Lane, of Peru, is an agriculture major who will transfer to Illinois State to major in agribusiness or crop/soil science. Following graduation, the son of Dave and Lori Lane will farm and work in the ag industry.

Merit award winners receiving $750 each were:

  • Natalie Orozco, of Mendota. The daughter of Cruz and Valentina Orozco will major in marketing.
  • Haley Roalson, of Ottawa. The daughter of Brent Roalson and Tasha Roalson will major in biology or business.

To qualify, students need a minimum 3.5 GPA as well as extensive college involvement and community service.

The 21st Century Scholars Society was established in 2007 to honor and reward IVCC’s most promising second-year students. It has awarded more than $220,000 to 191 students including $9,000 to six scholars this year.

The Society is currently made up of 36 members each contributing $500 annually.

For information, contact Executive Director of Community Relations and Development Fran Brolley at 815-224-0466 or