IU creates scholarship to honor first female African-American student

Annual Carrie Parker Taylor Scholarship will go to high-achieving, low-income student

  • Oct. 28, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University has established a new scholarship to honor Carrie Parker Taylor, the first African-American woman to enroll at IU. The scholarship announcement follows the recent discovery of Parker's legacy by IU Archives director Dina Kellams.

The scholarship is funded by an endowed gift of $30,000 made by James Wimbush, dean of the University Graduate School and vice president for the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.

As part of the university’s Bicentennial Campaign, Indiana University will match the annual endowed interest, making the Carrie Parker Taylor Scholarship $2,700 each year in perpetuity.

"I was a first-generation college student who worked full time as an undergrad because, similar to Parker, I had to pay my own way," Wimbush said. "I understand the financial struggle Parker faced as well as the burden of working long hours while trying to also succeed academically. There were many nights, as my mother often recalls, when I only got a few hours of sleep. I want this award to serve as recognition for the deserving student's efforts as well as an incentive for her or him to return and complete the degree."

The scholarship will be awarded each year to a high-achieving sophomore, junior or senior who is a 21st Century, Groups, or Hudson and Holland scholar and demonstrates financial need. Priority will be given to first-generation college students.

"I want to provide encouragement to a low-income student to complete his or her degree, as well as to help defray expenses so that student doesn’t have to work excessively while in school," Wimbush said.

The endowment funds will become available in five years. To ensure funds are available immediately to students, Wimbush has also established a multi-donor account, which offers others the opportunity to honor and support Parker's legacy through their own gifts.

Wimbush said he was moved by the many IU family and community members who pledged support for the scholarship fund during IU's Black Alumni Recognition Brunch during homecoming weekend. "Parker's story connects with many individuals who want to make a difference in student success."

The scholarship program will be administered by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.

To make a gift to the scholarship account, visit Give Now at My IU and designate gifts to the Carrie Parker Taylor Scholarship fund. All gifts of any amount are welcomed.

About the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs: The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs strives to foster an inclusive environment that promotes and nurtures diversity, broadly defined, on all campuses of Indiana University. To fulfill its mission, the office strategically focuses on the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students; the promotion of a welcoming and positive campus climate; and engagement in outreach and advocacy locally and nationally.

Related Links

Carrie Parker Taylor

Carrie Parker Taylor, pictured in 1937, attended IU in 1898. | Photo by IU Archives, courtesy of the Taylor family

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James Wimbush

James Wimbush

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