The life blood of any institution is scholarship support for students. At Blackburn, the student always comes first. Therefore, it is imperative that our current and future students receive more and more financial aid—whether this is based on scholarly achievement, financial need, or ethnic background. The establishment of endowed scholarships provides a gift that ensures students’ educational future.
The Mim Pride Fund
President Emeritus Miriam “Mim” Pride served Blackburn College for 24 years including 22 years as President of the institution. During her time as President, Mim Pride revived Blackburn College from the brink of extinction into a financially stable and growing institution. Although she had to make many difficult decisions along the way, her long tenure of leadership will always be personified with class and “doing the right thing”. Throughout her career, Mim Pride has always promoted the ideal of inclusion for all and pushed to make Blackburn resemble the world in which we live. Support of ethnic minorities and women in higher education have been the focal points within this ideal of inclusion and the Mim Pride Scholarship Fund for Minority Students has been established to keep the “pride” of Mim’s legacy long after she has retired from Blackburn.
Considerable funding is needed to sustain Blackburn’s commitment to access for all qualified students. Blackburn has always welcomed a large number of first generation and low income students because of this commitment to access and opportunity. Most of these students, whether they come from small rural communities, or from the neighborhoods of large metropolitan areas fit the Blackburn model.
The affordability of a Blackburn education is the main driver for many students. As the most affordable four-year private institution of higher education in the mid-west and with even a lower cost than many of its public counterparts, Blackburn still provides the best college education, dollar for dollar, money can buy. Continuing to keep the Blackburn education affordable—especially to the students from low to middle income families is the main force behind this objective. Raising additional need-based scholarships is paramount in matching the mission of Blackburn.
Merit Based Scholarships
Blackburn students have great potential. The average high school grade point average for the past two entering classes has been 3.30 and the average composite ACT score for these two groups has been 24. Blackburn presents students with distinctive challenges, as they manage their time between work, co-curricular activities, academics and their social lives. This is evident in the number of students who graduate from Blackburn with academic honors and those that go on to professional programs and graduate school. Maintaining access and opportunity for students prepared to make the best of the Blackburn experience becomes more and more of a reality when merit scholarships are increased. Scholarship funds can be established by donors and targeted to match their interests—whether that be specific majors, the hometown or county of the students, academic achievement, and many others.
The combined financial goal for the Scholarship Support Objective is $6 million. The achievement of reaching this goal will be the recruitment of more minority, high-achieving, and need-based students. In addition, this will financially strengthen the institution significantly by raising the endowment.