College Fund celebrates annual gala and grants

Feb 9th, 2012 | By | Category: 23-3: Technology and Culture, Tribal College News

In October, the American Indian College Fund 16th annual Flame of Hope Gala raised more than $300,000 for student scholarships. The Oct. 20, 2011 event at the Denver Center of the Performing Arts included headline entertainment by Native flutist R. Carlos Nakaí and The Jared Stewart Band. Hattie Kauffman, award-winning television journalist with CBS, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. The evening also included a silent auction featuring artwork donated by premiere Native artists, including a birch bark basket, beaded moccasins, and a cradleboard to name a few.

Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU, Lawrence, KS) student Danielle Denton, a member of the Iowa Nation and a business major, addressed the more than 200 supporters, saying how a scholarship helped her to pursue her dream to earn a business degree while embracing her Native culture. Denton was chosen as one of three Native students, the first-ever Native student cohort to serve as a student intern at Wal-Mart Inc.’s corporate headquarters in Bentonville, AR, where she will join the corporation as an employee after graduation in spring of 2012.

The American Indian College Fund honored the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for its support of early childhood education at tribal colleges to prepare Native children for success in college, and Elouise Cobell, who passed away Oct. 16, for her groundbreaking work to uphold American Indian contract rights and ensure an education for Natives in the future.

Sponsors for the evening’s event helped defray costs and include: CADDO Solutions; The Coca-Cola Company;, First American; IBM; Jenzabar, Inc.; Kauffman and Associates, Inc.; Lannan Foundation; Lumina Foundation; McDonald’s Corporation; Native American Bank, NA; Nissan North America, Inc.; Oneida Nation Foundation; Rick and Heather Black; Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians; Tule River Indian Tribe; USA Funds; UPS Foundation; Watershed Investment Consultants; Wieden+ Kennedy; and Wilke Family Foundation.

Within the past few months, the following organizations have provided grants to the American Indian College Fund for Native student scholarships:

• Donaldson Foundation granted $15,000 to renew the Donaldson Foundation Tribal College Scholarship Program. This program provides scholarships to American Indian students studying science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) at tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

• Alfred P. Sloan Foundation pledged $300,000 for tribal college faculty fellowships currently pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in STEM fields. The Fund will award two fellowships per year over the course of the threeyear period for a total of six fellowships.

• Nissan North America, Inc. granted $85,000 to continue the Nissan Corporate Scholars Program. The program has provided scholarships to Native scholars attending tribal colleges and mainstream universities for more than a decade.

• The Wildhorse Foundation of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation granted $7,000 for scholarships.

• The APS Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Arizona Public Service, gave a grant of $100,000 to continue its Navajo Scholars Program. The donation will renew the program for 2011–12 to provide scholarship support to Navajo students studying for a degree in STEM fields at tribal colleges, including Diné College (Tsaile, AZ) and Navajo Technical College (Crownpoint, NM) and mainstream colleges within the New Mexico and Arizona state university systems.

Find similar: ,

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.