Powwow leaves legacy through Penn State student scholarship

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A Trustee Scholarship for undergraduate students was announced Saturday (April 5) at the 11th and final New Faces of an Ancient People Traditional American Indian Powwow, and was named in honor of the event.

"I am honored to announce that I have signed the necessary Penn State papers that will help to create a new endowed scholarship," said John Sanchez, powwow coordinator and an associate professor in the department of journalism at Penn State. "This scholarship will be here as long as Penn State is here."

Undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll at Penn State and who have a demonstrated financial need will be considered for the New Faces of an Ancient People Traditional Powwow Trustee Scholarship by the Office of Student Aid. To the extent permitted by law, students from the eligible pool who are American Indian will be considered favorably, along with other factors. The scholarship should generate earnings of approximately $7,250 annually.

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program maximizes the impact of private giving while directing funds to students as quickly as possible, meeting the urgent need for scholarship support. For Trustee Scholarships created through the end of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students on June 30, 2014, Penn State will provide an annual 10 percent match of the total pledge or gift. This level is an increase from the program’s original match of 5 percent, and it is available only for new endowments of $50,000 or more. The University match, which is approximately double the endowment’s annual spendable income, continues in perpetuity, multiplying the support available for students with financial need.

Less than 20 percent of American Indians earn a bachelor’s degree or higher, and less than one percent of Penn State’s undergraduate student population is American Indian or Alaska Native.

“We leave Indian Country and Penn State with a lasting legacy. As our farewell, we have worked with Penn State leaders to establish the New Faces of an Ancient People Traditional Powwow Trustee Scholarship, named in honor of the event that has inspired all of us these last 11 years and showcased our culture for tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians,” powwow organizers wrote in the event program. “We are tremendously grateful for the creation of this scholarship and humbled by the University’s generosity in establishing this lasting legacy — a united effort of the Office of the President, the Penn State Alumni Association, the Office of University Development, the Office of Educational Equity, the College of Education and Penn State Outreach."

More than 150 American Indian dancers and five native drum groups from American Indian reservations and communities across the United State and Canada traveled to State College to participate in the powwow April 5 and 6. The event also drew about 6,000 visitors.

The New Faces of an Ancient People Traditional Powwow Trustee Scholarship will help Penn State meet its goals in For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This effort is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University is engaging Penn State’s alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University’s tradition of quality. The campaign’s top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014.

Last Updated April 11, 2014