(Video link below.)
Andrew Hosmanek met his best friend Evan Gettert '02 during their junior year at Davenport West High School.
"Evan was the funniest, smartest person I ever knew, and the life of every party," said Hosmanek. "He took a genuine interest in each person he met. All kinds of people were drawn to Evan because of his energy, smile and kind manner. He helped people who were less fortunate ... and lived every minute of every day to the fullest."
Gettert was also an entrepreneur from an early age and ran three businesses during college—at the same time.
"Evan had a plutonium core," said Hosmanek. "He was go-go-go from the moment he woke up (early) to the moment he went to bed at night (late)."
For three years Hosmanek and Gettert ran a painting business together employing 50 fellow college students. "We weren't even old enough to buy our employees a beer at the end of a busy week," added Hosmanek with a smile.
Attending the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and Scott Community College, Davenport, Iowa, Gettert completed his degree in finance at St. Ambrose, where he also played varsity soccer. He continued his entrepreneurship, owning and operating a variety of businesses in the Quad Cities and working in finance in Chicago, Ill.
In June 2005, at the age of 26, Gettert passed away after a courageous fight with a rare form of brain cancer.
Eventually, Hosmanek and members of Gettert's family founded Evan's Dream, an organization to memorialize him, in part, by providing scholarships to college students in the State of Iowa, and funding and support for brain cancer research.
"Cancer took Evan away from this world, but his spirit lives on," said Gettert. "I am doing my best to honor him and his memory in every way that I can."
So on Thursday, June 13, a scholarship agreement was signed—one day before the anniversary of Gettert's passing. The Evan Gettert ‘02 Entrepreneurial Scholarship will provide financial assistance to a St. Ambrose student who is studying business and/or has a strong interest in entrepreneurship, is running a business, or intends to start one.
So the "shorts and flip-flops" entrepreneur will be remembered by way of a $2,500 renewable scholarship supporting other young innovators realize their dreams.
"I know Evan would be enthused about building the next generation of entrepreneurs," said Hosmanek.
"He lives on in all of us, and his life is an example of how one should live," he said. "You always hear people say that those with a terminal illness learn to 'live every day to the fullest.' Well, Evan did that long before he was sick. And Evan always wanted us to be happy."
Watch a beautiful video put together by SAUtv.