Fund Created for PRIDE in Education Scholarship
Initial gift coincides with PRIDE’s 30th anniversary on campusWednesday, October 31, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – It’s been a month of education and celebration for People Respecting Individual Differences and Equality (PRIDE), a registered student organization focused on creating visibility and respect for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the campus community. To help recognize PRIDE’s 30th year on campus, an initial gift has been made to establish an endowed $25,000 PRIDE in Education Scholarship. John Berry and Richard Anderson, both of Springdale, made the initial gift to create a fund for the scholarship.
“I’ve been thinking for quite awhile about how to give back to the campus community and in the process create awareness and understanding of LGBT issues,” Berry said. “I know there are students who face issues with family, friends and religion that others may not have to go through. My hope is that this scholarship will help students who know about and have an interest in LGBT history and issues, and over time increase understanding across campus and beyond.”
The creation of the scholarship is a milestone for the campus PRIDE group, which has been honored in the past with multiple student awards including outstanding organization and outstanding collaborative program.
“In the 13 years that I’ve been advising PRIDE, I’m aware of many students who have had financial challenges because of their involvement with LGBT issues,” said Judd Harbin, PRIDE adviser and an associate dean of students. “Some families have cut off all financial support for their children. A scholarship like this could really help students in similar situations.”
Specific details regarding the scholarship application and selection process will be finalized once the scholarship reaches the endowment level.
“The University of Arkansas encourages diversity of all types on campus including sexual orientation,” said Danny Pugh, vice provost and dean of students. “This scholarship will enhance the diversity of our campus while helping us create a more understanding and socially responsible campus community. It is my sincere hope that others will step forward to fully endow the PRIDE in Education Scholarship.”
Berry, who served as an advisor to the campus PRIDE group in the late ‘90s, never attended the university as a student but worked on campus for 13 years, starting out as evening supervisor of cooking and leaving as director of retail dining. He says he hopes others will follow his philanthropic lead.
“I’ve talked to friends and acquaintances who have wanted to support something like this and now that the fund has been established it will be easier for them to do so,” Berry said. “I’m among the first generation in my family to go to college and I know how important education is. Northwest Arkansas has been our home for 27 years and it’s important for us to continue to give something back.”
Erin Turner Hogue, director of development
Division of Student Affairs
Mark Rushing, director of strategic communications
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