A big-name Indiana University graduate is again supporting his alma mater. Radio and television host Tavis Smiley is setting up scholarships to help recruit African-American students to the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
The school says the $50,000 scholarship fund will focus on students who are the first in their family to attend college. The scholarships will support the Smiley Scholars program at IU, which was established in 2008 and set to expire this year. Students must meet academic, financial need and leadership qualifications to be eligible for the scholarships, which will range from $2,000 to $5,000.
Smiley says his IU education "continues to contribute so much to what I’ve accomplished in life." In a release from the school, Smiley said, "As a native Hoosier, I want to do all I can to make sure students from backgrounds like mine can enjoy the same opportunities I did."
School of Public and Environmental Affairs Executive Associate Dean Michael McGuire says the school will match the gift "so that we can reach even more students." SPEA recently set a goal of increasing scholarship funding for qualified students from underrepresented groups as part of its new SPEA 2020 strategic plan.
Smiley hosts "Tavis Smiley" on PBS and "The Tavis Smiley Show" for Public Radio International. He has also written 19 books.