UNCF Announces Quarles’ Steven Hunter To Chair 2024 “A Mind Is…” Gala Chicago

Steven Hunter, Chicago Office Litigation and Dispute Resolution Chairman at Quarles & Brady LLP and co-chair of the firm’s diversity, equity, and inclusion committee, is chairing the UNCF Chicago 2024 “A Mind Is…” Gala. Quarles is the Presenting Sponsor. 

The gala will be held on June 15, 7 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

“I am proud to take on this leadership position for the 80th anniversary of UNCF Chicago and the many Black college students who benefit from its work,” said Hunter. “The work done by UNCF Chicago and other corporate partners and individuals who have invested in the college education of hardworking and dedicated students is critical. Now, more than any other time in history, we must work, sacrifice and do all we can to combat the erosion of diversity programs in higher education. Furthermore,” he added, “we must maintain a work and education environment that reflects the true makeup of the country. UNCF is helping to do just that.”

Hunter graduated from Brown University with a double major in economics and political science. He then earned a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. He is a trial lawyer with extensive experience in shareholder, private equity, supply chain, construction and international disputes. He has been a leader in DEI throughout his career, both within the firm and his community, and was recognized in 2023 as one of Crain’s Chicago Business “Notable Leaders in DEI” and in 2019 as one of Crain’s Chicago Business “Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting and Law in Chicago.” 

He serves as General Counsel for South Side Community Art Center, the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council and the Northeast Illinois Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry President’s Council and The Art Institute of Chicago Advisory Council. 

Additionally, Hunter serves on the Board of Directors for the Delta Research and Educational Foundation, Family Focus and The Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. He’s a recipient of numerous awards, including the Chicago Defender Men of Excellence, the Illinois State Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year, the Chicago Bar Association “Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award” and the National Bar Association “Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40” honors.

“UNCF is aiming to get to 100 years by embracing our rich legacy while shaping our future through strategic buildable groundwork that will allow scores of deserving young college- bound students to stand upon, ” said Lisa Rollins, Regional Development Director for UNCF. “This year AMI’s fundraising goal is $1 million! We are so fortunate to have Steven as our gala chair. With him advocating for our mission and supporting our great purpose we are guaranteeing great success for our students.”

Since its inception in 1944, UNCF has been a beacon of hope for countless students, raising over $6 billion and awarding more than 500,000 scholarships. Annually, UNCF disburses over 12,000 scholarships valued at over $70 million and provides financial support to 37 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). 

Through UNCF’s unwavering dedication, HBCUs have significantly contributed to the academic success and professional development of Black students, doubling the number of minority students attending college over the past eight decades and shaping leaders across various sectors, including politics, media, and civil rights activism.

The evening promises to be a night filled with purpose and a resounding call for the Chicago community to join UNCF in the rewarding efforts of supporting education! The evening’s program will include the recognition of extraordinary individuals and organizations that support the mission of UNCF. Awards to be presented are the “A Mind Is…” Corporate, Alumni, Community, Legacy, and Trailblazer Awards. 

Entertainment will be provided by R&B/neo soul singer-songwriter, actor and four-time Grammy Award nominee Eric Benét. UNCF’s iconic motto now revised still rings true…a mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.™ For more information and sponsorship opportunities contact UNCF at 312-845-2200.

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