BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University alumnus Danny Kenny ’13, a native
of Wildwood, Mo., will receive a Rotary Foundation Global Grant Scholarship to pursue
a master’s degree in environmental management and development at Australian National
University (ANU) in Canberra.
Kenny’s grant is for $50,000, the largest Rotary scholarship ever received by an IWU
student. Kenny said he is “immensely fortunate and incredibly grateful to Rotary”
and to Warren Kistner, director of the Hart Career Center, and Tom Hodson, chair of
the Rotary District 6490 Scholarship Committee, for their assistance with his grant
An environmental studies and Hispanic Studies double major at Illinois Wesleyan, Kenny was the University’s recipient of the 2012
Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate Award, which recognizes outstanding academic
achievement and extracurricular activities among college seniors. As a Weir Fellow,
Kenny coordinated campus-wide efforts to establish a new community garden, named the
Peace Garden, near campus.
Among his accomplishments and activities as a student, Kenny was captain of the men’s
varsity soccer team; president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee; and named
as an Academic All-American in 2013. He was awareness events commissioner of the Student
Senate and served as co-chairperson of the GREENetwork, a group of volunteer students,
faculty, staff and administrators addressing sustainability on the IWU campus.
Kenny is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, national honor societies;
Phi Beta Delta, an honor society recognizing achievement in international education;
and Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honors society. He also completed
several internships as a student, including positions at State Farm, the Ecology Action
Center and the Action Research Center at Illinois Wesleyan.
Kenny said he wanted to enroll in an environmental program for his graduate work,
and the Australian university is consistently ranked in the top 25 universities in
the world for its master’s program in environmental management and development. His
yearlong program begins in January.
“My ultimate goal is to set up a social enterprise, or some sort of entity that sits
at the intersection of government, the private sector and nonprofits, working with
communities to undertake environmental initiatives that offer both short- and long-term
benefits,” said Kenny. “There is this prevalent idea that we have to choose the environment
or the economy, not both, and I think that is rubbish. I want to work to prove that
those two worlds can co-exist, and I want to do it in communities that stand to gain
the most from holistic sustainable development.”