NRF Foundation awards top scholarship to Columbia College Chicago junior

Robert Davison Long earns $25,000 scholarship
By Lottie Watts
Published Apr 27, 2022

The 2022 NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship – the highest honor the NRF Foundation awards to undergraduate students – was presented by SAS at the NRF Foundation Honors on April 13 in New York City.

Richard Widdowson, vice president of global retail and consumer goods solutions at SAS and member of the NRF Foundation Board of Directors, honored the undergraduates who made it to the final round for the scholarship.

“Our finalists are talented, driven and curious. Over the many months of this competition, they’ve demonstrated determination and dedication,” Widdowson says. “As a company committed to education, life-long learning and the advancement of the industries we serve, all of us at SAS are excited to once again be the presenting sponsor of the NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship.”

See the moment the top recipient was unveiled in the video below:

“Retail has been my passion for so many years and such a large, substantial part of my life,” says Robert Davison Long, the junior fashion studies major from Columbia College Chicago who received $25,000 as the 2022 NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholar. “I am so grateful and boundlessly blessed to be standing here as the recipient.”

The other four finalists each received $10,000. The competition included a case study with Meijer, interviews with retail leaders and evaluation by the NRF Foundation Board of Directors. 

The NRF Foundation Honors – presented by American Express and PwC – is the NRF Foundation’s biggest stage for telling the story of how retail builds extraordinary careers and largest fundraiser. The event – co-hosted by Macy’s, Inc. Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette and former Qurate Retail, Inc. President and CEO Mike George – drew more than 600 attendees to the Marriott Marquis Times Square and raised $3.22 million for the NRF Foundation.

Undergraduates can submit applications now for the 2023 NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship or create a team for the 2023 NRF Foundation Student Challenge. And you can learn more about programs and resources from the NRF Foundation – including its industry-recognized RISE Up training and credentials – that help people of all backgrounds build life-changing careers here.

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