Inaugural Andriko Bilaniuk Scholarship Awarded

In the spring of 2021, the Bilaniuk Family, Ivan, Andrea, and Peter '25, established a scholarship to honor the memory and legacy of Andriko Bilaniuk '22, who passed away from cancer in July 2020 following his sophomore year. The Andriko Bilaniuk '22 Memorial Endowed Scholarship was made possible by the generosity of numerous donors and by the vision of Mr. Timothy LaCrosse, Chair of the Bishop O'Connell Fine Arts Department, who organized and hosted an extraordinary 11-hour virtual memorial benefit concert. Thanks to Mr. LaCrosse's leadership, management, and tender care, and the support of a number of musically gifted O'Connell students, teachers, and alumni and a bevy of world-class musicians from six continents, this concert was an enormous success, breathing to life what has become a very generously supported scholarship.

Andriko was an accomplished violinist and a devoted student of philosophy (Greek for "love of wisdom"). This new scholarship is awarded annually to a rising junior who shows both a keen interest in strings or other instrumental music, and philosophy, as demonstrated in/through the student's religion, literature, and/or history classes. Awarding this noteworthy point of recognition to a rising junior, as Andriko would have been, symbolizes brightness, hope, and the promise of the future. 

The inaugural $1,500 scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2021 to Christian Noska '23, a violinist and member of the school's strings ensemble. Bishop O'Connell juniors were nominated by the performing arts, religion, history and English departments for demonstrated intellectual inquiry and introspection, as well as interpersonal qualities and character, and the top candidates were called on to write a personal reflection and an essay as a part of the selection process. This scholarship will be awarded annually in this same manner, and is renewable for the recipient's senior year.

"Andriko's life and example will continue to inspire the members of the Bishop O'Connell community," said Head of School Bill Crittenberger. "This commemorative scholarship will forever remind us of the potential for grace, goodness, and light that is in all of us, children of God."

Pictured: Andrea and Ivan Bilaniuk presented O'Connell junior, Christian Noska, with the 2021 Andriko Bilaniuk '22 Memorial Endowed Scholarship during the Oct. 7 Student Recognition Assembly.

2021 Scholarship Awarded