Remembering Vu

A site dedicated to raising funds for the Vu Nguyen PAR Scholarship

How you can help

To contribute to Vu's scholarship fund, either a one-time payment or recurring, visit the UIS Foundation website here and click on Donate to #choosevu. Or, make a check payable to the University of Illinois Foundation and write "Vu Nguyen PAR Scholarship" in the memo. Mail to: University of Illinois Springfield, Office of Development, 1 University Plaza, MS PAC 591, Springfield, IL 62703.

PAR Class of 2008

Vu Nguyen (top row, center) with his graduate school classmates in the Illinois Capitol during spring 2008. AP FILE PHOTO


How do you know your money has made a difference? Hear it from John Guidroz, who wrote this letter in 2009 after he was awarded the first Vu Nguyen PAR Memorial Scholarship.

Dear friends, 

      My name is John Guidroz, and I am one of 19 students currently enrolled in the Public Affairs Reporting master’s program at the University of Illinois Springfield.

      I came into the program with more than four years of journalistic experience and with no idea about what to expect.

      After nearly eight months — more than three of them spent as an intern with GateHouse Media — I can honestly say this program has been a humbling and wonderful experience. I’ve learned more about Illinois’ political scene than I ever imagined.

      This experience is worlds away from my hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana. There, I spent two years in radio news and another two years in print before moving to Springfield.

      Over the course of the school year, I’ve received some assistance, including a $1,000 scholarship in honor of PAR alum Vu Nguyen. The money has really come in handy, especially since I am paying out-of-state tuition.

      Though I never had the chance to meet him, some of Vu’s classmates have told me about his beaming personality and his lifelong dedication to journalism. I learned that, like me, he enjoyed singing and playing the guitar.

      As the first recipient of the Vu scholarship, I hope to embody his work ethic as I continue my career as a journalist.

      Pretty soon, a new group of students will be accepted for next year’s class. They will be eager to take my place and become immersed in the exciting and sometimes bizarre world of Illinois politics.

      But they will need your help.

      With today’s economy in a rut, it’s becoming harder for students to afford the expenses associated with higher education. But you can make that a little easier.

      A donation to the Vu Nguyen scholarship fund could help a student take full advantage of one of the premier journalism programs in the country. 

      Take the time to donate today. 

John Guidroz