Giving Back to Elon and the Bright Lights of Broadway!

Hannah Hubbard has been dreaming of a career on stage from a tender age.  Having started musical theatre, aged 8, she quickly realized it was more than just a hobby but her life calling.  This led Hannah to apply for New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), where she has been attending for the past four years. Her experience in NOCCA has inspired her to continue her education and pursue a collegiate career in Musical Theatre at Elon University where she is due to start this fall.

While Hannah was thrilled to receive the news that she had been accepted to Elon, she found the prospect of committing to college quite daunting as she was fearful of the debt that she would run up.  She started applying for scholarships and was recently selected for the Charles E. Cooper ’01 Music Theatre Scholarship.

This is a scholarship which Charles Cooper, Managing Director at Skylight, has set up to benefit students majoring in musical theater.  Before starting his career as a financial planner, Charles, better known as “Coop”, was a classically trained opera singer, and is an Elon Graduate, with a bachelor of fine arts in musical theater, cum laude.

Leaving a Legacy

Back in 2012, after a discussion with his wife, Coop decided that he wanted to leave a legacy.  He loved his time so much in Elon that he wanted to give back and afford the same opportunity that he had benefitted from to a deserving young student.

“Elon has been part of my family for many years and was so good to me and my sister.  It’s a first-class university and in the top three in North Carolina.  I received an amazing education and loved the small classes and close collaboration with my professors and peers.  I call it the ‘Disneyland for education’ so I thought what better way to give someone a lift up than by awarding a scholarship,” explains Coop.

The Charles E. Cooper ’01 Music Theatre Scholarship is awarded to a student with good grades, a good attitude, an ability to be a team player and one that would benefit from the financial support.  Hanna is the first recipient.  “Receiving a phone call of thanks from Hanna was the neatest thing.  It gives me great joy to hear how the scholarship will impact Hanna’s life and enable her to follow her passion,” says Coop.

When talking about the scholarship, Hanna’s excitement is palpable, “When I found out that I was receiving an extra scholarship I was ecstatic!  Getting this scholarship makes me feel as though all the work I’ve put in to get to this place of going to college has paid off (figuratively and literally).”

Dreaming of Broadway

For Coop, the excitement is doubled.  On top of his own scholarship, the Elon Alumni Board, of which he has been a member for five years, has just endowed a new $100,000 scholarship (see photo below).  This will help additional deserving first-years students, with family members who previously attended Elon, to realize their dreams of obtaining an Elon education.

For Hanna the future is bright.  After Elon, she hopes to use what she has learned to perform around the country – everything from cruise line work to summerstock theatre and hopefully one day make it to Broadway!  A name to watch out for in the future!


Charles Cooper CLU®, LUTCF® is Managing Director in our Cincinnati location. He is responsible for recruiting professional sales personnel, and to develop marketing plans to help these representatives reach their career goals.  To read more about Coop, please visit his bio.