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Thursday, May 23
The Indiana Daily Student

IU creates new scholarship to honor student

After browsing through the Newspaper Archive in July, IU Archives Director Dina Kellams discovered a piece of IU’s history. She realized the first African-American female to attend IU was Carrie Parker Taylor.

Although it was already known that the first African-American woman to graduate from IU was Frances Marshall, who graduated in 1919, this is the first IU has heard about Parker.

IU has now decided to create a scholarship in her name to honor her historic education.

Parker attended from winter 1898 through fall 1898 but was unable to finish her education because of lack of resources, said Joyce Rogers, vice president for development and external relations for the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.

This new scholarship will help sophomores, juniors and seniors who demonstrate financial need and are involved in the 21st Century Scholars, Groups or Hudson and Holland scholars programs, with a preference for first-generation 
college students.

OVPDEMA will administer the scholarship.

“Dr. Wimbush decided it would be great to honor her as the first African-American female to attend IU and provide assistance to other students to help complete their education,” Rogers said.

The scholarship is sponsored by two different funds, an endowment by James Wimbush, dean of the University Graduate School and vice president for OVPDEMA, and a multi-donor scholarship, a fund to which anyone can donate.

Wimbush’s endowed gift is $30,000.

Along with this money, IU will match the annual endowed interest, making the scholarship $2,700 each academic year, according to an IU press release.

The funds will be available in five years.

Elizabeth Blevins, assistant vice president for marketing and communications at OVPDEMA, said the endowment allows the donation to have an effect for a longer period than if the principal amount was spent all at once.

This scholarship, as well as other types of financial aid, help with retention, Rogers said.

“Scholarships are an important way to help students not only to attend but also to stay in school,” Rogers said. “It’s important to inspire others so they can be interested in giving and helping students, too.”

Wimbush said in the 
release he wants to provide encouragement to a low-income student to complete his or her degree.

In addition, he wants to help pay for expenses so the student does not have to work excessively while in school.

Rogers said it is important to help students with their finances so they are able to attend school because, for a lot of students, especially first-generation students, finances can create significant barriers to education.

“I think we were fortunate to learn Mrs. Parker’s story and be able to use her name and honor her in hopes that students who receive this scholarship, when they graduate, think about how they can pay it forward and help other 
students,” Rogers said.

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