With a long record of commitment to social justice, St. Catherine University today announced the establishment of the George Floyd Memorial Endowed Scholarship. This prestigious new competitive annual scholarship, endowed through a generous $250,000 anonymous gift, honors the life of George Floyd and will benefit one Black American student pursuing a degree or career that promotes social justice issues, specifically those related to racism.
George P. Floyd Jr. was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, 2020, just a few miles from the St. Catherine University campus. Many St. Catherine students, faculty, and staff live in and around the area where the incident took place.
“St. Catherine University’s history, values, and proximity to this fatal incident amplifies the reality of racial disparities that are present in our world, and the systemic changes needed in order to improve justice and eradicate racism,” said Anita Thomas, PhD, executive vice president and provost of St. Catherine University. “Now is the time to act, to join together, and to fuel our commitment to education as an expression of social justice.”
Since its founding by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1905, St. Catherine University has developed an enviable reputation for educating women and other marginalized populations. Today’s diverse student body takes full advantage of St. Kate’s dedication to academic excellence, social justice, women’s empowerment, and other important values — all in the spirit of the Sisters’ value of “love of the dear neighbor without distinction.”
This ethos and the University’s dedication to Catholic Social Teaching, which calls for valuing the life and dignity of all, inform the work of the institution and make up the foundation of our unwavering commitment to social justice. With 39% of St. Kate’s undergraduate student population being in the Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) demographic, the University is in an advantageous position to help close the gap in socioeconomic standing.
The George Floyd Memorial Endowed Scholarship will increase access to a college education and reduce student debt. While acknowledging the economic barriers to higher education for many Black American students, St. Catherine University is invested in developing leaders and changemakers who seek to improve communities, organizations, and society.
“Creating the George Floyd Memorial Endowed Scholarship is a vital step toward addressing systemic disparities by investing in our students’ intellect, passion, and commitment to leading change,” said Thomas.
A selection committee has been formed, and the application form is available online. The hope is for the first recipient to be announced on May 25, the anniversary of George Floyd’s death. All eligible students in any of the University’s three colleges are invited to apply. As part of their applications, students will submit essays describing how they intend to promote social justice in their academic, professional, and civic lives.
Hoping to increase the amount of this competitive scholarship, St. Catherine University welcomes additional gifts to the George Floyd Memorial Endowed Scholarship endowment. Interested donors can give online or contact Institutional Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-690-6093.
Gifts to the George Floyd Memorial Endowed Scholarship also count toward LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence.