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Illinois State alums create scholarship to support next generation of sales professionals

Zach and Anna Frazier with scholarship recipient Alexa Mirandola.

Zach and Anna Frazier with scholarship recipient Alexa Mirandola.

Zach Frazier ’06 and Anna (Trefil) Frazier ’06 credit Illinois State University with some of the big successes in their lives and are doing their part to give back in kind.

The couple met at ISU and had their first date at Avanti’s. They both graduated with degrees in Marketing & Management and entered into sales careers.

Anna works as the Director of Local Advertising for the Chicago Tribune Media Group in the Greater Chicago Area. Zach recently started working for UrbanBound, a startup that creates technology designed to assist businesses with moving personnel during a relocation. In addition to their professional lives, the Fraziers have two future Redbirds; Noah, 5, and May, 3.

Though their commitments at work and home keep them busy, the Fraziers have maintained a commitment to stay connected to their alma mater. Anna and Zach serve on the advisory board for the Department of Marketing. The experience provides them insight into the curriculum and projects students are working on. It also gives them a chance to share trends they are seeing in the professional world with students.

In addition to volunteering their time and expertise, the Fraziers created a scholarship to support current students. Anna and Zach received financial assistance as undergrads; starting a scholarship was a natural way to show their gratitude to Illinois State and help Redbirds rise.

In 2013, the Fraziers created the Professional Sales Alumni Scholarship to benefit students who are interested in a career in professional sales.

“We look back at the experience that we had and we are really grateful for it,” Zach said. “We thought about where we could contribute. Our experience at ISU helped launch our career in sales and we wanted to give back. We were inspired by the program that we went through and we want to help students become even more successful as they graduate and go into their sales profession.”

“Some students are less fortunate or are struggling with coursework because they have to work multiple jobs,” Anna said. “We thought starting a scholarship could help alleviate some of that stress.”

For the Fraziers, the most fulfilling part of starting the scholarship has been meeting the recipients and hearing their stories.

“We have met some really talented and ambitious students who we have kept in contact with,” Zach said. “Seeing how the program has progressed and how our contributions have helped has been very rewarding.”

Alexis Mirandola, the latest recipient of the scholarship, says the Fraziers’ support has made a dramatic impact on her Illinois State experience.

“My family and I have benefited from this scholarship in many ways,” she said.  “Thanks to Anna and Zach, money is not as much a limiting factor on how far I want to take my education. I can see how much passion they have for giving back to the university. When they tell the story of how the scholarship started that made accepting the scholarship even better.”

In the future, the Fraziers would like to continue to grow their scholarship. They have already received support in this effort from their peers. Some of the funds that are currently available were donated by fellow business alums.

“There is a lot of opportunity for this scholarship to continue to grow and to benefit more students each year,” Anna said.

To other Redbirds who are trying to figure out how they want to support ISU, the Fraziers say that the power is in their hands.

“The University provides a lot of ways for you to give back,” Zach said. “We believe that everyone that has the ability to give, even in a small way, should give back. It’s easy once you get in contact with the right people, and you can determine how the funds will benefit our current students.”

Illinois State’s comprehensive campaign, Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State, supports scholarships, leadership opportunities, and innovation at Illinois State. To learn how you can join the Fraziers in helping Redbirds soar, visit RedbirdsRising.IllinoisState.edu.

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