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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC-System Schools Offer LGBT Scholarships

The Boseman-TenHuisen scholarship, which is awarded by the university but funded entirely by private donors, will be given each year to a member of the UNC-W Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians and Allies for Diversity.

The scholarship was initiated about three weeks ago by OutWilmington.com -- a news and information source for Wilmington's LGBT community -- after it was approached by a student in need. The student was cut off from parental funds after coming out and expressed a need for funding to continue his education.

Representatives for the Web site consulted UNC-W's Division of University Advancement and formed an agreement to start the scholarship.

To be eligible, a student must have full-time student status, be a member of B-GLAD and maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average. There are no specifications as to the sexual preference of the applicant.

Scholarship recipients will be chosen by a board of directors, assembled from B-GLAD members specifically chosen by university officials.

B-GLAD faculty adviser Matthew TenHuisen, a mathematics professor at UNC-W, said the scholarship specifications are not biased but simply based on involvement in B-GLAD's cause. "There has been no backlash because there has been no discrimination," he said.

Funding for the scholarship will come from private donors. OutWilmington.com will do the majority of fund raising.

Ty Rowell, UNC-W senior associate vice chancellor for planned giving/regional outreach, said the scholarship is the first one of its kind given out by UNC-W. He added that similar private scholarships are given out in the Wilmington area.

He said the university has received only positive comments about the scholarship.

Shirley Ort, UNC-Chapel Hill associate provost and director of the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, said there is a similar scholarship available for UNC-CH students.

The Pine Tree scholarship fund was established in 1995. The privately endowed scholarship gives funding annually to two members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Straight Alliance.

Ort said the LGBT-Straight Alliance advertises the scholarship but that students must seek it out. She added that the scholarship and student aid office has developed a good relationship with the LGBT-Straight Alliance. "We have only had positive comments made about the Pine Tree scholarship."

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.

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