$5,000 award for LGBT advocacy

Unnamed donation establishes LGBT-advocacy scholarship.

Students involved with LGBT advocacy on Main Campus are now eligible to receive financial rewards for their efforts following the launch of a scholarship targeting students who are active in the LGBT community.

The MarcDavid LGBTQ Scholarship is worth $5,000 that will be awarded to one student who displays leadership and advocacy in the LGBT community. Financial need will also be considered for the award.

The scholarship was made possible by an anonymous donation.

Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs Andrea Seiss explained the process of developing the  scholarship, which was announced during National Coming Out Week.

“The Office of Institutional Advancement brought it to us and said that they had somebody who wanted to donate money to this and we collaborated with them,” Seiss said. “Our goal was to have it out by the fall so that it could be ready for the spring.”

“I was very excited when I heard that somebody wanted to do this,” Seiss said, with noticeable enthusiasm.

LGBT advocate and professor of speech communication Scott Gratson said he is excited as well, and that the scholarship is a great way to emphasize the work that students do toward LGBT inclusion.

“I am thrilled about this new scholarship,” Gratson said. “I think that the chance for Temple to have the good efforts and activism of one of our students recognized in this manner is not only a statement as to what Temple could become, but also the great work that our students do to increase inclusion for everyone.”

Although he acknowledged Temple’s involvement in the scholarship, Gratson also credited the donation that made the scholarship possible.

“I see this scholarship to be a very kind and thoughtful statement from an even more [benevolent] donor,” Gratson said.

Gratson added that Temple has come a long way in LGBT activism since his arrival on Main Campus in 2002.

“Temple is moving, very clearly, in the right direction when it comes to LGBTQ inclusion, that is certain,” Gratson said. “There is still a way to go but I also know that we have come a far, far way since this discussion started years ago.”

Kayla Feifer, a junior psychology major and the president of Purple Circle, a discussion group aimed for LGBT students, said this scholarship fills a void that many students have in this community.

“I feel like it’s a great opportunity, it’s definitely something that’s a need, more recognition,” Feifer said. “They are definitely targeting a group that may need help more than others. Unfortunately, a lot of families do not agree that their child is LGBT, so they’re less willing to help [financially].”

The deadline to submit applications for the MarcDavid is Nov. 9.

Cindy Stansbury can be reached at cindy.stansbury@temple.edu.

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