Aron M. Blankenburg Memorial Scholarship

Photo of Aron Blankenburg at a film reading

About Aron

Aron M. Blankenburg (CLA '94) was a passionate student of Italian language and culture. Aron’s experience attending CLA at the University of Minnesota transformed his life. One important aspect was his growth in confidence meeting so many young people who shared his visions about life. Within days of completing his degree, he was off to New York City with visions of fame and fortune. He began experiencing some success in acting, modeling, and music, but he sought more in life, and he knew where to find it: Milan, Italy. It was a city he fell in love with during a learning abroad experience in Italy during his junior year. Aron and Milan quickly became the perfect fit. He signed a contract with Sony, writing and singing some hit songs; interviewed celebrities for MTV Europe; modeled clothing; and signed a contract with Leo Burnet Europe. He also traveled extensively, trying to satisfy his curiosity about the world and its people.
When he died at age 43, his parents, Brian and Kathy Blankenburg, established the Aron M. Blankenburg Memorial Scholarship in his honor to provide the same possibilities for personal growth and a greater love of life for other University of Minnesota students of Italian.


About the Award

The Aron M. Blankenburg Memorial Scholarship supports students studying Italian language and culture, studying abroad in Italy. The scholarship is to be awarded to a talented student who demonstrates a passion for Italian studies as well as financial need.


How to Apply

The application deadline is March 31, 2023 at 12pm.

Email the following required materials to, and have the instructor submit the letter of recommendation by email directly to For further information, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for French and Italian at

  1. Download and complete the application form
  2. An unofficial transcript.
  3. An application essay describing your previous engagement with Italian Studies and what receiving this scholarship would make possible for you as you continue your academic career.
  4. Verification by the University of financial need. 
  5. A letter of recommendation from an instructor of Italian. The letter should come from that instructor who is best able to assess your academic and intellectual capabilities. If possible, the writer should be an instructor of an upper division course (3xxx) in Italian that you have recently taken; if you have not yet taken 3000-level courses, ideally the letter would be from a current or very recent instructor. Please request your letter as soon as possible. The instructor should submit the letter directly to the Department office at