Apr 4

Now Accepting Nominations: Gerdy Grant Endowed Scholarship Award

In Memory of Matthew Gerdisch ’17

Nominations are being accepted for current Brebeuf Jesuit juniors for the Gerdy Grant Endowed Scholarship Award in memory of Matthew Gerdisch ’17. Nominations will be accepted now through April 15, 2022 and should be submitted to Jamie Elkins, Senior Vice President at jelkins@brebeuf.org. Once nominations have been reviewed, final candidates will be selected and an informal interview with the Gerdy Grant Committee will be scheduled. Award recipient notification will be made on May, 19, 2022, which is Matthew’s birthdate.


Submit to: Jamie Elkins, Senior Vice President at jelkins@brebeuf.org
Nominations Deadline: Friday, April 15, 2022
Eligible students: Current Brebeuf Jesuit Juniors – Class of 2023
Nomination submission to include:

  • Student Name
  • Nominator’s Name
  • Relationship to Nominee

Nomination Prompt:  Please use 500 words or fewer

Matthew “Gerdy” Gerdisch was a quiet place for many people. Curious and unassuming, Matthew accepted everyone he met into his life so he could explore and cultivate their eccentricities. Exceptionally emotionally honest, Matthew made instantly meaningful connections with people. Generously vulnerable, Matthew offered his friends the safety to represent themselves authentically. An avid collector, Matthew was accustomed to leaving nothing behind, and continued to communicate with friends regardless of distance or time. None of his friends ever felt left out or unheard.

This unique combination of qualities culminated in a person who provided an immediate sense of togetherness when anyone was with him. Matthew was a sounding board, a quiet place, and a friendly support for a diverse group of people largely knit together by Matthew’s friendship. Who do you know is a friend like Gerdy?

Matthew was born on May 19, 1999, a son of Marc and Lori Ann Gerdisch. Matthew was an energetic, kind, bright and clever young man, with the wide eyes of a child. He knew his job in life was to bring others comfort and strength. Everyone will miss his intent, listening and ability to frame the future as bright and warm. His joy of being a Northwestern Wildcat was unflagging, as he passionately pursued a major in biology-physiology. Matthew cherished all people who found themselves blessed with his sunshine.

Matthew found his path in life: to be a physician treating heart rhythm disease. He had a fascination born of his own heart rhythm disorder, a love of science, and having spent time with legendary heart surgeon Professor James Cox MD. Matthew, his father and colleagues were fashioning a physician training fellowship combining surgery and electrophysiology that will take form in his name.

Matthew loved all things Asian. He held a black-belt in taekwondo, led an Asian culture club, and was planning a return to Japan. Matthew was at home deep in the ocean, scuba diving since he was a small boy. As a SAG-AFTRA member, he acted from the age of two in television, onstage and in voice-overs. Matthew traveled the world with his family and his lovely Samantha–his inseparable partner since age fourteen. They were born on exactly the same day. Matthew was a tech enthusiast, and it was his firm belief that our world would only get better, and we would rally as a planet to meet the future.

Matthew was generous with his heart and always wanted to create warmth and acceptance. He thoughtfully shared his ideas with the deans at Northwestern on easing reentry into academic life for students returning from medical leave. Matthew participated in the National Student Leadership Conference, first as a student and then as a group leader. He loved to teach and passionately encouraged others to learn.

Matthew had a bond with his dear brother Robert, communicating each day of their lives. Matthew finished every conversation with Samantha and every family member with “I love you.” It was one of his many lessons to us. He would wish the same joyful communication to be shared by everyone, known and unknown: never miss the privilege to tell someone they are loved.