Press Release

Seeking Nina Mason Pulliam Scholarship applicants

February 1, 2004


The Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program in Arizona and Indiana are accepting applications for the fourth Nina Scholar cohort. In 2001 the Trust established the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program to open doors of opportunity and education for men and women who do not qualify for “traditional” college financial aid.

The Trust is sponsoring eight students at Arizona State University, 15 students at Maricopa Community Colleges, five students at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and 12 students at Ivy Tech State College Central Indiana Campus. At the close of 2003, there were more than 100 men and women participating in the three cohorts of Nina Scholars, with several already having completed their studies.

Application deadlines are April 1, 2004. For further information about applying to the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program, contact: Cory Gonzales at ASU, 480-727-6561; Jennifer Steele at Maricopa Community Colleges, 480-731-8619; Marsha Currin at IUPUI, 317-278-7878; or Kathleen Vahle at Ivy Tech State College, 317-921-4617.

“Education was important to Nina Mason Pulliam. She believed that education is a crucial tool to self-sufficiency and personal fulfillment,” said Trustee Carol Peden Schatt. “The Nina Scholars program furthers the Trust’s mission of helping people in need. We are also pleased that many of our Scholars learned about the program through organizations that have received grants from the Trust,” Schatt added.

The Nina Scholars program is unique in the United States as it seeks to assist nontraditional students in three categories: adult students (minimum age of 25 with dependents) who have never attended college or who have had their education interrupted years earlier; physically disabled traditional college-age or older students; and young adults who were raised in the child welfare system and must be responsible for their own financial support as of age 18.

Along with a full scholarship, which includes tuition, fees and books, each Nina Scholar receives a $2,500 living allowance to assist with such necessities as child care and transportation. Additionally, each school has a Nina Scholars coordinator to assist the students and to coordinate special programs and activities-all designed to help each student be successful.


“We so appreciate the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust’s commitment to establishing a long-term scholarship program that provides these students the key ingredients they need to succeed,” said Jennifer Steele, MCC Nina Scholars coordinator.

“With financial obstacles removed and a safety net of guidance and mentoring in place, these students will have the opportunity of a lifetime to prepare for a career and achieve goals they perhaps thought were impossible to achieve.”

“Our Scholars are supportive of each other. We meet regularly, in an open forum, where the Scholars discuss challenges they may be experiencing in the classroom, celebrate their academic successes together, and, most importantly, provide a support network to each other. Overall, our Scholars have become a family,” said Marsha Currin, IUPUI Nina Scholars advisor.

“As the Nina Scholars are successful, their stories of achievement inspire other students and family members to seek higher education. We have already seen this happen within a number of our Scholar families; sisters, brothers and mothers have returned to classes, due to a Nina Scholar in the family,” said Cory Gonzales, Nina Scholar coordinator at ASU.

“This is an outstanding program that far surpasses a simple monetary gift. With the comprehensive support offered by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, the Scholars will have a far smoother path through college,” Kathleen Vahle, Nina Scholars program manager at Ivy Tech concluded.