Alumni Association expands student scholarship program

IUS Horizon

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As part of a new initiative to help the campus community, the IU Southeast Alumni Association is offering six scholarships to students for the 2012-13 school year.

The scholarship amounts total $10,000, with six $1,000 scholarships and one $4,000 scholarship for Athletics. Of the six scholarships, each one will be divided between the six schools at IU Southeast.

Jerry Wayne, vice chancellor of Alumni and Community Relations, said half of the scholarship amount for the individual schools came from the organization’s scholarship account. The other half was provided by Chancellor Sandra Patterson-Randles.

“I went to the chancellor and asked her, and she graciously agreed to match what the Alumni Association was putting up,” Wayne said.

In the past, the scholarship money was awarded exclusively to the Athletic Department. However, John Watkins, president of the IUS Alumni Board, said they voted to expand the scholarship program so more students could be included.

“One of the things we determined was to focus on increasing our ability to award scholarships to students that are active in the Student Alumni Association,” Watkins said.

In order to qualify for these scholarships, Wayne said there are a few requirements they are looking for when selecting recipients. One important qualification is the student must have a family member who is an alumnus or alumna from IU Southeast.

“What Bloomington does in theirs is you must be a son or a daughter,” Wayne said. “We wanted to expand ours to be family members. Family members could be a spouse, a cousin, an aunt, an uncle and obviously parents, brothers or sisters.”

Another condition of the scholarships is the student must be an active member of the Student Alumni Association.

Wayne also said students do not necessarily have to be a graduate from IU Southeast in order to become an alumni. He said as long as a student takes one class on campus, they are a member of the organization.

“We do want this to be a value for our alumnus to be a member,” Wayne said.

Other requirements include being a full-time, undergraduate sophomore or junior with at least a 3.0 GPA, and submitting an essay about the purpose of the IU Southeast Alumni Association.

While the deadline is still open, Watkins said there will be a board meeting on Sept. 27 to review the applicants and determine the recipients of the scholarships.

Wayne said the most significant task for the Alumni Association is to raise enough money in order to distribute it through scholarships.

“I can’t think of anything more important for our students than to help them graduate and to afford their education,” Wayne said.

Watkins said he believes it is very important for students to have assistance with attending college.

“The more we can give, the better off we are, and it’s our way, as alumni, of returning something to the university,” Watkins said.

Wayne also said he thinks the most important message is students have a strong support system from the Alumni Association.

“We all graduated from here — I graduated from here — and the help that all of us received, whether it be from faculty, staff or scholarships, we want to keep that feeling alive, and we want our students to realize that the Alumni Association is here to support them.”

By CLAIRE MUNN

Senior Editor

clamunn@umail.iu.edu