Join us at the DOI Gala

The 16th Annual Degrees of Impact Gala 


Friday, May 17, 2024 

6:00 pm reception  |  7:30 pm program, dinner, and live auction 

Join us at Rockwell on the River to celebrate a year of building momentum. Hear from OMD Scholars and help us honor our supporters, partners, and community members like you.

Tickets are available now and there’s still time to sponsor. 

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Congratulations to our 2024 Civic Leader Award recipient: 

Beth Swanson 

Beth Swanson, CEO of A Better Chicago and Vice-Chair of the City Colleges Board of Trustees, has been a long-time OMD supporter and trusted advisor. Most recently, Beth has been instrumental in making our Campuswide partnership possible.  


We are thrilled to honor Beth at our 2024 DOI Gala, recognizing her tireless championing of OMD and her commitment to equity, access, and transformation in higher education.  

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David Scherer

David Scherer

One Million Degrees Co-founder 

David is principal of Origin, co-chairs the Investment Committee, and oversees investment analysis, acquisition and asset management. He has more than 20 years of experience in real estate investing, finance, and asset management. In 2006, he co-founded One Million Degrees, which has raised $20 million to help low-income community college students graduate and successfully enter the workforce. David has served as the organization’s Board Chair for the past 12 years, as the organization has grown from 30 to 1,000 students served per year. He also serves as the President of the Harvard Club of Chicago and is on the Advisory Board of Invest for Kids.  

Rose Lizarraga

Rose Lizarraga

OMD CO-Founder & President & CEO, Lysa LLC

An award-winning documentary filmmaker and freelance writer, Rose’s career also includes 10 years spent developing new product and brand strategies as well as marketing and advertising campaigns at Leo Burnett, Foote, Cone & Belding, M&M/Mars and other small businesses.  More recently, she worked as a writer/editor for Modern Luxury Inc., publishers of magazines such as CS and Angeleno.  Rose graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with dual degrees in English and Political Science.  She is a founding member of the Daniel M. Kerrane, Jr. Foundation, former Board Vice President of the Fairy Godmother Foundation, and currently serves on the Chicago committee for Human Rights Watch.

Michael B Golden

Michael B. Golden

One Million Degrees Co-Founder 

A former national award-winning broadcast journalist, Michael Golden has also served as a political campaign manager and communications strategist for U.S. Presidential, Senate and Congressional races. Michael is a fellow at the British-American Project and the Open Society Institute. In 1999, Michael’s investigative and public affairs reporting for NBC earned him honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the AP, and the Edward R. Murrow Awards. In 2011, Michael co-founded Newsbound, Inc., a media and software company based in San Francisco, CA. He is also a co-founder of the Complete the Degree back-to-college initiative in Chicago, Illinois. Michael serves on the board of the ADL and on the governing board of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, as well as the Illinois Commission to Eliminate Poverty. He received his B.A. from Indiana University, and his M.S. in Public Services Management from DePaul University.