Chris Quillen Memorial Scholarship
This endowed scholarship was established by the Florence Main Street Program to honor the memory of Christopher Lane Quillen. Musician and University of North Alabama student Chris Quillen was killed in an automobile accident during the early morning hours on May 26, 1996, after playing a concert the previous evening in from of 10,000 fans on Court Street in downtown Florence, Alabama. In lieu of flowers, some of Chris’ friends sent cash memorials of over $1700, which became the foundation of the Chris Quillen Memorial Fund.
Chris was an enthusiastic music teacher and encouraged several young people to take up instruments. With guidance from family and friends, the Chris Quillen Memorial Fund evolved into an annual summer music camp for local children 8 to 12 years old, who lack the means for music lessons. These children are introduced to guitar, bass, and percussion by local musicians over a three-day period. The Florence Housing Authority sponsors any child living in one of its housing developments or assisted under its house choice voucher program.
By the end of 2002, the Chris Quillen Memorial Fund had raised over $10,000, which has now been contributed to established the Chris Quillen Memorial Endowed Scholarship, the first endowed scholarship fund in the history of the commercial music program offered at the University of North Alabama. The dedication of the local commercial music community to establishing this fund is a reflection of Chris’ own dedication to music. Therefore, it is only from within the community of entertainment industry that an individual may be eligible for this scholarship.
Recipients of this scholarship shall be students in the UNA Department of Entertainment Industry. High academic achievement shall not be a criterion for selection. Preference given to applicants who demonstrate need for financial assistance to undertake their internships.