The Independent

All You Need is Love

Bob Love gives keynote speech at Chuck Kane Scholarship Golf Event

Spencer Jones, Sports Editor

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The legacy of Chuck Kane was in full effect once again as his annual scholarship event reached its 44th year. The Chuck Kane Scholarship is the largest NEIU offers.

Kane was an athletic director and golf coach during his 11 years at NEIU.  Since 1973, a year after his death, NEIU has worked to raise scholarship money for students in his honor.

The event, which was held at the Chevy Chase golf course in Wheeling, saw over 100 participants, bringing the total over the years to 1,213. Chuck Kane’s sisters also attended, and they now represent the family’s namesake at events with NEIU.

This year’s guest speaker for the event was Chicago Bulls legend Bob Love. Love currently serves as the Bulls Goodwill Ambassador, spokesperson for the National Stuttering Federation of America, and board member for the National Brain Injury Association of Illinois. He ranks third on the Bulls’ all-time scoring list and was the second player to get his number retired by the organization.

What’s arguably more impressive than his career in the NBA, was what he did after retirement.

Love battled a speech impediment his entire life. During his professional career he didn’t speak much, and his speech difficulties were exposed once he was forced to retire because of a back injury.

“I was a person that never gave up,” Love said. “I never played the victim, and all through grade school, high school and college I never had speech therapy.”

The former all-star said he never made more than $100,000 during his 11 year career and resorted to washing dishes and bussing tables at a Nordstrom’s in Seattle. There, his boss offered to pay for speech therapy.

“I was fortunate to find a great speech therapist,” Love said, “and now I’m the No. 3 motivational speaker in the country. I have such a great story to tell.”

His story was made into a documentary and is in talks to become a movie. Love concluded the day of festivities with an emotional speech that was received with a standing ovation. He explained that after basically being shunned and humiliated because of his speech difficulties, he got a second chance to share with the world everything he had to say.

“It felt like the weight of the world jumped off of my shoulders,” Love said

Once the Bulls discovered Love’s progress, they offered him a job as the director of community affairs.  

“The next day I got on the phone with the owner of the Chicago Bulls, Mr. Jerry Reinsdorf. He said, ‘Bob we want you back in Chicago.’ I came back here some years ago, and I never looked back,” Love said

For over 40 years, the Chuck Kane Scholarship Golf Event has helped over 150 students, including the current committee student representative Max Caviness.

Caviness was awarded $500 for the one semester that he applied to the scholarship, and he tends to continue his partnership with the Chuck Kane Scholarship well after his graduation in May.

“He (Kane) always went over and beyond for his students,” Caviness said when asked about the impact Kane has on NEIU. “Chuck Kane was one of those people that, if a student needed help, even if it was outside of office hours, he made it happen. So this is a really good way to honor him. I fell in love with the committee, fell in love with the cause. Even after I graduate I plan to stay on this committee and get out there and actually golf.”

This was more than a golf outing for most of the people who came out. It was a chance to honor and support the legacy of one of the most impactful instructors to teach at NEIU.

“I’ve come to admire how his students will show up and remember him,” said Sylvia Daniels, director of development. “We lost him back in ‘72, but yet now people still remember him. He just really made an impact and I think it shows in general, how teachers, professors, those in that role can make all the difference.”

Daniels went on to say that each year’s goal is to make around $40,000 for the scholarship. Though they came up short the past two years, it hasn’t deterred the overall mindset for the event. Last year the scholarship raised a little over $30,000, while reaching $27,448 this year.

Love and Kane have a lot in common: their love for people, the desire to help shape future generations and their overall commitment to do well.

The Chuck Kane Scholarship is offered to students through the College of Arts and Sciences, Business Management, College of Graduate Studies and Research and the College of Education.

To find out more about Chuck Kane and how to apply for the scholarship, visit neiu.edu/kane.

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Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper
All You Need is Love