Lake Superior State University president, first lady establish LGBTQ+ scholarship

LGBTQ+ scholarship is first of its kind at LSSU

President Dr. Rodney S. Hanley and First Lady Sara Gunhus-Hanley sign criteria with Vice President of Advancement Scott Smith that establish the first scholarship to benefit the LGBTQ+ community at LSSU. Also pictured are members of the student group Sexuality and Gender Equality: Sawyer Dowd, Alexandra Mazzella, Zachary Hunt, and Madeline Mazzella. The first scholarship will be awarded this spring for the 2023-24 academic year. (LSSU)

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A new scholarship at Lake Superior State University will offer financial assistance to students who contribute to the LGBTQ+ community at LSSU.

Lake Superior State University President Dr. Rodney S. Hanley and his wife, Sara Gunhus-Hanley, have established the Rodney S. Hanley and Sara Gunhus-Hanley LGBTQ+ Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship will provide financial assistance to students who contribute to the LGBTQ+ community at LSSU.

The couple has committed $31,000 for the scholarship, which is worth $1,200 annually. It will be awarded to students who exemplify leadership and service within the LGBTQ+ community, study, and research vis-à-vis LGBTQ+ issues and a commitment to supporting the progress of LGBTQ+ civil rights movements.

“Sara and I are proud to be able to create this scholarship at LSSU. We both recognize the importance and responsibility of the university to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among faculty, staff, and students,” Hanley said. “Diversity within a university community not only promotes a healthy and robust learning environment but also promotes social justice for all.”

The scholarship is the first of its kind at Lake Superior State University. The establishment of the scholarship demonstrates the couple’s acceptance of diversity, according to Sexuality and Gender Equality (SAGE) President Madeline Mazella.

“In today’s world, you find at times there isn’t much support. By establishing this scholarship, Dr. and Mrs. Hanley have demonstrated their acceptance of diversity for people who need it to feel safe, welcomed, and valued. This is a great step in the right direction for the community and especially on campus,” Mazella said.

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