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SU announces Haudenosaunee Promise scholarship program
SU announces Haudenosaunee Promise scholarship programAugust 19, 2005Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
On Aug. 15, members of the Syracuse University and Haudenosaunee communities announced a new scholarship that will give qualified American Indian students the necessary financial resources to attend SU.
The Haudenosaunee Promise Scholarship Program, administered by the University’s Office of Scholarship Programs, will offer financial assistance equal to the cost of tuition, on-campus room and board and mandatory University fees to all admitted first-year and transfer students who are certified current citizens of one of the six Haudenosaunee nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca or Tuscarora.
“Education at its best is a two-way process,” says Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “I am delighted that we will be building-and expanding-upon our historical relationship with the Haudenosaunee. The benefits and opportunities to be created are truly exciting.”
The Promise assists students in each year of study toward their first bachelor’s degree. Scholarship recipients will be required to maintain full-time academic status at SU with a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average. The scholarships will be available beginning in the Fall 2006 semester. SU will not limit the number of Promise scholarships awarded annually.
“This new program is a way to honor and grow the historical and cultural relationship between the University and Haudenosaunee,” says David C. Smith, vice president for enrollment management. Cantor has named Smith as the University’s emissary to the Haudenosaunee. The Onondaga Nation has appointed Stephanie Waterman ’83, G’04 as emissary to the University.
“We have cultivated a commitment to relating the University to both the Native American and Syracuse communities,” says Smith.
To qualify, students must be citizens of one of the following territories throughout New York State and Canada that are part of the Haudenosaunee nations: Akwesasne Mohawk, Kantatsiohareke Mohawk, Ganienke Mohawk, Kahnawake Mohawk, Kanesatake Mohawk, Tyendinaga Mohawk, Tonawanda Seneca, Six Nations (Canada), Oneida (New York), Oneida of the Thames (Ontario), Onondaga, Allegany Seneca, Cattaraugus Seneca, Oil Spring Seneca and Tuscarora.
Robert Odawi Porter, director of the College of Law’s Center for Indigenous Law, Governance and Citizenship, notes that the Haudenosaunee Promise is a scholarship unique in American higher education. “No other university has made this kind of commitment to neighboring aboriginal peoples,” says Porter. “I see the Promise opening new doors for Haudenosaunee people in ways that can’t be imagined. For too long, we have struggled to resist Western efforts to de-culture our people through education. Now, through Chancellor Cantor’s leadership, SU is creating an opportunity for us to achieve a Haudenosaunee intellectual renaissance.” Porter is a citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians and was raised on its Allegany Territory in upstate New York.
In the past year, the University has worked to expand its academic offerings in related areas. In May, Richard Loder ’67, G’78, part-time professor of sociology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, was appointed to a three-year directorate of the Native American Studies program in The College of Arts and Sciences, the first time a faculty member of Native American heritage has served in a leadership position in the college. Loder’s appointment is part of a re-envisioning of the Native American Studies program to expand its offerings to all members of the University community. In April, SU hosted Native Student Outreach Day in effort to recruit more Native American students to attend college by giving students insight into the application process, financial aid and college life in general.
Odie Brant Porter, assistant provost at SU, organizer of Native Student Outreach Day and also a citizen of the Seneca Nation (Allegany Territory) notes, “This is different from any other scholarship initiative in that it supports helping the Haudenosaunee sustain themselves by educating some of their people who will live and work withintheir nations. We have turned the corner in the education process, where education can be used to sustain our distinct culture and values, rather than being used to destroy it.”
For more information on the Promise scholarships, contact Maura L. Ivanick, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs, at 443-1513.