Five Pullman Scholar Alumni share how the Pullman Foundation impacted their lives.

“I am a graduate of Wendell Phillips High School (in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood) and Northwestern University. I grew up in the Ida B. Wells Homes and the Clarence Darrow Homes (former public housing projects in Bronzeville ). I am one of seven children and the first to attend college. Without the Pullman Scholarship I would not have been able to afford to finish college. I went on to receive a master’s from Boston University and a J.D. (juris doctor, a law degree) from Boston College. I recently retired from serving as a juvenile court judge after 20 years.”

-Leslie Harris, J.D., Northwestern University

“My mother’s family arrived in northern Indiana from Holland in the late 1850s to find fertile farmland ideal for starting their new life as American farmers. But as often happens, the first generation after their arrival decided to break out in many directions, a few of whom ended up on the south side of Chicago working for Pullman. I don’t have all the details of what jobs they performed, or whether they lived in Pullman houses or shopped at the Pullman stores, or if they were around for the famous strike, but I do know they settled there for generations. Even in my childhood in the 1970s, we used to visit many of my older relatives that still lived in Roseland.

In the late 1980s, I benefited from Mr. Pullman’s foundation, whose scholarship helped fund my undergraduate education at Bucknell University from 1988-92. More than a century after my first ancestors began working for the Pullman Palace Car Company, his legacy was still having an impact on my family and me. Today, I work with the Foundation donating my time, financial support and expertise to help ensure that legacy continues for the next generation of worthy scholars from Cook County. In the end, some may view George Pullman as a heartless capitalist exploiting workers, but that narrow view misses the dramatic influence this early Chicago industrialist had on our city, our culture and on the lives of thousands of people in Chicagoland and around the world – an influence that extends long beyond the life of George Pullman or the company he founded.”

-Jeff Tryka, CFA, ’92, Bucknell University

“In 1970, I was one of the fortunate recipients of a Pullman Foundation scholarship which allowed me to attend Washington University in St. Louis. Having grown up on the south side of Chicago I am proud of this Foundation and its mission.  I am impressed with the caliber of students who are selected for these awards and only wish that there were more funds available to support more students in their academic endeavors.  The daughter of George Pullman has created a wonderful legacy in memory of her father.”

– Margaret Marek Rohter, MPH,CPHA,LEHP, ’73, Washington University in St. Louis

“The Pullman Scholarship could not cover the cost of tuition at Northwestern, but their gift certainly made a difference to me in so many other ways. They made me feel important and worthy. Their gift was a form of unanticipated support that came when I needed support the most. That support has stuck with me 40 years later, inspiring me to start my own foundation – an arts foundation, which aspires to inspire others, and impact them in a way that makes them feel the way that the Pullman Foundation made me feel.”

-Andrea J. Fulton, ’83, Northwestern University

“My grandfather came to the U.S. before the turn of the 20th century and was employed as a tradesman at the Pullman works in Roseland. Although I never knew him, my father always talked about the Pullman factory, the lay-out of the community and the splendor of the Hotel Florence.

During my youth I was surrounded by the Pullman community. Mendel CHS (formerly Pullman Tech) was school to many of my friends. Gatley Stadium was home to most of my high school football games. The shadows of the Pullman factories were a constant reminder of the powerful empire that was once in my backyard.

Fortunately, the Pullman legacy has continued through the Pullman Educational Foundation. The Foundation was there for me when I needed financial assistance for my college education. As a direct relative of a Pullman Co. employee I was able to qualify for a Pullman Scholarship. I received 4 years of aid which significantly eased the financial burden on me and my parents.

Today, my two children receive financial assistance from the Pullman Foundation for their college education. We now have 4 generations that have benefited from the Pullman legacy stretching over 12 decades.”

-Richard J. Meliska, C.P.A., ’74, MacMurray College

On February 19, 2015,  President Barack Obama travelled to Chicago to designate the community of Pullman as a national monument.

In light of this exciting news, George Pullman and the community of Pullman are in the spotlight, prompting us to reflect on the Foundation’s connection to this historic event.

We are excited to share this opinion piece with you. It will be featured in Thursday’s Chicago Sun-Times and speaks to George Pullman’s most significant legacy, the nearly 13,000 Pullman Scholars who are living testaments to his bold vision.

 Article: George Pullman, much maligned, opened doors to opportunity

By Izzy Rubin, Intern.

Know Thyself

The best way to get on track for the semester is by knowing your current habits, strengths, and weaknesses. Is your backpack a black hole for folders and papers? Try binders. Do you lose track of time easily? Set daily alarms. Do you have trouble remembering due dates? Use a planner. Self-awareness will help you choose an organization plan that works for you. Figure out your current habits, and target what you could improve.

Be Ahead of the Game

Try to organize your calendar, papers, and supplies as early as you can. How and where will you store your papers and books? Consider making a folder on your computer for each class instead of having individual files scattered throughout. If you already have a system in place at the start of the semester, you will be ahead of the game and won’t have to play catch-up.

Get a Planner

There is too much to keep track of in college without a calendar or a planner. Forgetting about assignments and appointments is costly to your academic performance and overall well-being. Write assignments, chores, meetings, social events, club responsibilities, and anything else you need to do in your planner. Having everything written in one place will give you an idea of how to structure your day to make it as productive as possible.

See the Big Picture

While planners help with day-to-day tasks, a separate monthly calendar will help you see the big picture. At the beginning of the semester, gather your syllabi and mark big assignments (projects, exams, and essays) in your calendar. Don’t forget to mark events for your clubs or important personal events. What weeks look busier? Knowing ahead of time that you’ll be traveling the weekend before a term project is due will help you manage your time to do your best work.

Do the Little Things

Staying organized takes effort, but in the long run, you’ll improve your grades and state of mind. Place papers in their proper folders in your backpack. Save downloaded documents to the correct class folder. Organize all of your materials before going to bed each night. Set electronic calendar reminders for appointments. The little things you do for yourself now will prevent you from being overwhelmed later.


University of Michigan’s Advice on Keeping Planners 

Cornell’s Time Management Resource

How to Use a Syllabus