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Announcing the Spence Undergraduate Fellows Scholarships for UIC Business Students

Benét DeBerry-Spence, Professor and Department Head of Marketing

Benét DeBerry-Spence, Marvin Spence and their children, Zoë and Shelby, have generously established a fund to assist students and increase diversity within the College of Business Administration.

The inaugural Spence Undergraduate Fellows Scholarships will be awarded during the spring 2022 semester.

“We feel very strongly that supporting education is one of the most important and impactful means of investing in the future of communities, and these scholarships are a way for us to do just that, in ways that directly benefit students,” said Dr. DeBerry-Spence.

In 2010, Dr. DeBerry-Spence became the first Black professor to receive tenure at UIC Business. In 2016, she became the college’s first Black full professor.

“Our family wanted to mark these important UIC milestones with the establishment of the fund. We hope to create opportunities for students to pursue their career ambitions and to break down barriers,” she explains.

To be eligible for the scholarships, marketing students must demonstrate academic merit and be active in the newly founded student organization, Black Students in Business (BSB). The organization has a special focus on addressing the interests and needs of Black students within UIC Business. The organization’s newly elected student leaders are in the midst of planning their goals and programs for the fall semester. Kim Moon, Senior Lecturer of Marketing, is the faculty advisor for BSB.

“It is an honor to thank the Spence family for their remarkable gift. The intent of the scholarships epitomizes the UIC Business mission to help students succeed. Undoubtedly, the creation of these awards, and the Black Students in Business organization, are defining moments in the college’s history,” said UIC Business Dean Michael Mikhail.

Dr. DeBerry-Spence states, “We hope others support our goal of helping students become ‘firsts’ by contributing to the Spence Undergraduate Fellows Scholarship fund and to efforts that support members of BSB.”

To learn more about the fund, please contact the Office of Advancement at