Howard and Mildred Eychaner were long time residents of DeKalb, Illinois until their deaths in 2005. Howard graduated from DeKalb High School and Mildred served on the DeKalb School Board for approximately 25 years, including 1966 when the present high school was completed. Howard and Mildred attended what is now Northern Illinois University during the great depression of the 1930’s. Howard dropped out of college after one semester to earn money with the intent of returning to school He was never able to do so. Mildred graduated with a teaching degree. They were married in 1942, 60 days after Pearl Harbor.
During their lives, Howard and Mildred welcomed many minority families and individuals into the community, beginning with African Americans and Cubans in the late 1950’s. They became dedicated proponents of inclusion and diversity, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or physical condition. They believed education was the ladder everyone could climb to a better life and a more welcoming community.
This scholarship is dedicated to continuing their life’s work and to providing opportunities for minority students graduating from DeKalb High School. It is the hope of the scholarship committee that recipients of the Howard and Mildred Eychaner Minority Scholarship will dedicate themselves to improving their lives, their community and providing a helpful hand up to others.