In 2001, Carla Knorowski, Ph.D., an Associate Dean for Development and External Affairs and Director of Advancement at the University of Illinois at Chicago, founded and provided the major underwriting for the Thirteen-Fifty Foundation. She serves on a volunteer basis as its Executive Director. The foundation is dedicated to the celebration of America and the American flag by encouraging active and purposeful citizenship.
Through the Thirteen-Fifty Foundation, Dr. Knorowski developed the Reaffirmation of Citizenship Oath, which seeks to encourage American citizens to ponder what it means to be a citizen of the United States, and calls them to serve as more engaged, purposeful members of society. Last September 11th, more than 1,000 elementary students, their parents and teachers took the oath, which has been administered at other civic gatherings as well.
The foundation also has developed recognition programs to recognize Americans who have served America and the American flag well through service within the communities in which they live. The Patriot Prize Essay Contest, which the foundation launched this past year, engaged more than 650 high school juniors from the state of Illinois in writing about what the American flag means to them. Awards given through the contest and also through other foundation programs provide partial scholarships to students who are sound academically and at the same time, serve their local communities.
Also launched in the past year is the foundation’s Ideas Abroad program that sends English language books to countries of need, such as Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Thailand. New projects are currently underway in both Haiti and Jamaica. Additionally, the foundation established the Thirteen-Fifty’s Third Fold Veterans Honor Roll, which honors veterans (living and deceased) who have served America in the highest traditions of public service. The Third Fold Veterans Honor Roll members are announced and remembered at special foundation events.
Dr. Carla Knorowski has a well-documented history of service not just at the local and national level, but globally as well. Some of her noteworthy service abroad has been working over and above the duties at the University of Illinois to attract more than $230,000 in seed funding over a five year period to underwrite 30 exchanges between American and Polish doctors to reduce infant and maternal mortality in Poland. The project saved more 10,000 lives lowering the infant and maternal mortality rates 8% and 5% respectively.
She also coordinated a project between Shriners Hospital and a young victim of a marketplace bombing in Sarajevo in the 1990s, which brought the young lady to the U.S. free-of-charge to be fitted for prostheses enabling her to walk. She also co-directed for a three-year period, the Chicago Distance Classic race that raised more than $200,000 for the American Lung Association. The money went towards research and the treatment of lung-related illnesses. Over the course of her career as a fundraiser, she has raised approximately $17 million in private support for education, specifically more than $3 million for scholarships for students so that they may attain an education. She also served on the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative board as well as board of local-area high schools.