During his college years, our son Chris took part in two study abroad programs. The first was a semester-long experience at the University of Amsterdam during his junior year and his second was a summer fellowship program with DePauw University in Nice, France. These experiences opened his eyes to the benefits of multi-cultural integration and proved to be the happiest and most productive times of his 23 years on this earth. Our mission is to assist university students who may not have the financial resources to take part in study abroad programs. Our motto, Chute Higher!, represents the ability in all students to follow their dream and achieve their educational goals.
Overseas study comes with additional expenses above and beyond the normal college tuition and housing. Students require airfare costs, extra program fees, and often higher housing expenses. We help financially challenged students with these extra expenses which may be preventing them from applying to study abroad programs.
-Kirsten, Tom, Haley and Abby Chute
On August 31, 2021, we lost our beloved son, brother, and friend, Chris, who was blessed with a beautiful soul and stunning red hair. Chris was a cool character: Unflappable, kind, intelligent, funny. From the time he was a toddler, he was not a big talker, but instead an intense listener. Able to discern the finest nuances from just a few short words. Always open to hearing about anyone's troubles and offering a sympathetic ear or an emotional hug, delving deep into how to solve their problem. Surely a sign of the philosopher he would become down the road.
During his early years, he struggled academically, but in college at DePauw University, he found his stride. He fell in love with reading scholarly texts and studying ancient art. Suddenly he was writing twenty-page papers on the teachings of Aristotle and St Thomas Aquinas with ease. It was during these years that he also fulfilled his adventuresome spirit: His treks to music festivals and sporting events spanning cities from LA to Boston with his beloved friends. The semester he studied in Amsterdam and traveled throughout the European continent, where he told us many times he was at his happiest and truest self. His fellowship in Nice the summer before his senior year where he sat by that calming Mediterranean Sea, drank French wine and shared stories with his newfound friends.
And finally, in 2020, Chris continued his adventures by moving to Colorado, joining his sister and very best friend, Haley. He found tranquility in the majesty of the mountains and joy in the many events he attended at Red Rocks with his plethora of friends.
Despite these accomplishments, adventures, and happy times, however, underneath his calm exterior, he struggled with anxiety and depression which few people knew about and which he hid so well. In order to cope with this illness, he often searched for avenues of escape, as he did that last fateful night, August 31, 2021.
For our son, we would move mountains - but the challenges presented by mental health obstacles and his attempts at self-medication proved too steep a mountain to overcome. But now we know, Our Beautiful Boy is no longer troubled and is finally at peace.
Quoting from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by one of Chris’ favorite authors, JRR Tolkien
“No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path; one that we all must take. The grey rain curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass. And then you see it. White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.”
We love you, Chris, to the moon and back. Our hearts are broken. This world seems empty without you in it
Our first charitable endeavor created the Chris Chute Memorial Scholarship for Study Abroad at DePauw University, Chris's Alma Mater and beloved supporter of his study abroad experiences. Each year, a scholarship is being awarded to a student with financial need who wishes to study overseas.
NEW! We are happy to announce our newest project in partnership with Hinsdale Central High School. We will be awarding an annual $1,000 scholarship to a Hinsdale Central HS Senior who has take a foreign language and intends to study abroad. Please click on the link below for details and the application.
We hope to establish similar projects and help others Chute Higher!