Through the support from Eastern Illinois University faculty, staff, and supporters, a scholarship endowment has been established to help ease the financial burden placed on the school.
While the State’s budget impasse has had negative effects regarding the school, supporters have been diligently working to reverse these effects. One solution was the Commitment to Excellence Scholarship Program. The scholarship which automatically awarded $2,000 to $4,500 to academically-exceptional students that are attending EIU for the first time was originally funded by appropriated tax dollars that the school could use elsewhere. Supporters decided that by setting up an endowment fund for the scholarship, portions of the appropriated tax dollars could be used for other areas of the school.
Organizers set an initial goal of $25,000 for the endowment. With support from nearly 140 faculty members, staff, and EIU supporters, the goal was met within 18 months. Even though the $25,000 will cover only a small portion of the scholarship, organizers consider it a starting point. Next, they want to double that amount. As such, organizers have planned a celebratory reception for Thursday, April 6th from 4:30 to 6:00pm in Easter Illinois University’s MLK Jr. Union. This reception is open to the public and music, fellowship, and refreshments will be available. Opportunities to support the Endowment will be available as well.