Thomas Urben

Thomas J. Urben of Oshkosh, WI has been accepted for admission as a freshman and will study Electrical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Thomas earned 29 college credits towards his college degree while in high school and “cannot wait to embark on that journey.”  In addition to excellent grades, Thomas has done extensive volunteer work that began in middle school at the Oshkosh Public Library and continues to volunteer there today.  As a member of the Polaris National Honor Society, Rotary Interact, and the National Hispanic Honor Society he has generated more than 120 volunteer hours.  “College will be an amazing experience and I’m ready for the responsibilities that come with it.  I look forward to using the experience and knowledge I’ll gain from my time at Madison to obtain a career I’m passionate about and will allow me to truly make a difference.”  Thomas is the son of Judy and Jon Urben, and the grandson of Karen Durand Urben and Gary Urben (deceased).

Claudia Durand 

Claudia Durand of Austin, TX will be a freshman majoring in Design at the University of Texas at Austin.  Wrote Claudia: “I’ve been passionate about the arts since a young age but passion will only take you so far.  I’ve created graphic design projects at the professional level since high school…Striving to broaden my skill set, I’ve learned photography, digital art, web design and video production.  After I complete my undergraduate degree in three years (which I already have the hours for) I would like to take up an artist’s residency or institutional position for two years before my master’s degree.  Using my Hazelwood Act* hours, I will be able to pursue both an MFA in Design and an MA in Advertising, ideally at the University of Texas, Austin. Claudia is the daughter of Rear Admiral Robert T. Durand and Lea Ann Durand, Austin.

* The Hazlewood Act is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified military veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas.

Jessica Durand 

Jessica Durand of Ontario, Canada will complete her senior year as a Bachelor of Arts in Media Information and Technoculture at Western University before moving on to study for the Queen’s Graduate Diploma in Business at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.  Jessica’s letter of acceptance from the Queen’s Admissions Committee reads, in part:  …The Admissions Committee was truly impressed with your experience, academic achievement and high level of motivation.  The Admissions Committee engages in a rigorous selection process, designed to ensure that offers of admission are made only to those applicants who truly stand apart, and who have the traits and skills necessary to be the leaders of tomorrow.” The DHF Scholarship Committee agrees and is pleased to help Jessica move forward in her academic and professional career.  Jessica is the daughter of Greg and Nancy Durand.

Luke Swelland 

Luke Swelland, Farmington, MN, will be a sophomore at Grand Canyon University, in Phoenix, AZ and will pursue a degree in Business Management with a minor in Accounting.  His first semester GPA was 3.58 – almost straight A’s. Luke has worked for the past two summers at Hudson Ford (Hudson, WI) and says, “After earning my degree I hope to return to work at Hudson Ford in a management position.  I enjoy my job there and look forward to learning other aspects of running a business.”  Luke plans to be a dorm resident advisor on campus this fall and wrote that the “opportunity to be a resident advisor will allow me to gain experience with people skills as well as helping to grow my leadership abilities.” Luke is the son of Paul and Becky Swelland, and the grandson of Warren and Beth Durand Utecht.

Giselle Durand 

Giselle Durand of Minneapolis, MN will begin her sophomore year of studying Theater Arts at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA.  In high school, Giselle was “consistently involved in theatrical productions, whether I was in them, directing them, or doing other technical aspects.  It is my goal to one day be a director and be able to create art and performances that inspire people.  The intimacy and vulnerability that comes with the art of storytelling through theatre is something that I want to utilize to make a difference in the world, even if it is just one person at a time.  I plan to use my education to insert myself into the world of directing and performance, and use the skills I have developed to change lives through art.”

Last winter, Giselle played the lead in a college theatrical production, a big honor for a first-year student.  Giselle is the daughter of Peter and Julie Durand, and the granddaughter of John and Janice Durand.