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Joseph Harry Endowed Scholarship


The endowment for the Joseph Harry Scholarship Program was established through the generosity of Dr. Joseph Harry, who taught in the NIU Department of Sociology from 1977 to 1998. During that period he did considerable research in the area of gay studies and was also the faculty advisor for several years to NIU’s LGBT student organization, then called the Gay/Lesbian Union.

A printer-friendly copy of the information below can be found on the Scholarship Information Sheet.


The purpose of the Joseph Harry Endowed Scholarship Program is to provide tuition scholarships to undergraduate students who have participated in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) organizations or activities.

General Criteria

  • Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of financial need, scholarly performance, and academic standing.
  • Scholarships are awarded for one year.
  • Scholarships may be renewable for a second year at the discretion of the scholarship committee if the student maintains satisfactory academic standing (a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all NIU credit earned and of 2.0 in the major).
  • Scholarships shall be awarded on the basis of merit without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, as defined by university policy.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Joseph Harry Scholarship, applicants must:

  • be junior or senior undergraduate students (as defined by credit hours) at Northern Illinois University during the academic year for which the scholarship is awarded,
  • have financial need,
  • demonstrate satisfactory academic standing (a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale as computed by NIU standards) at the time of application for the scholarship,
  • demonstrate satisfactory scholarly performance. Indicators of scholarly performance might include, but are not limited to, such things as participation in academic, scholarly, or professional organizations; participation in undergraduate research opportunities; enrollment in honors courses; election to honor societies; receipt of academic awards or honors; application of academic lessons in intentional experiences outside the classroom.

Confidentiality of Application and Award

Scholarship application materials will be handled confidentially, and will be seen only by the faculty and staff members of the scholarship committee and those professional staff members of the LGBT Resource Center who have a role in handling the documents.

The words gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or LGBT do not appear on any of the financial forms where the scholarship is listed, so it is possible to keep the nature of the award confidential if you are selected as a recipient and decide to do so.

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit, stapled and in the following order:

  • A completed, typed application form.
  • An essay of up to 750 words (approximately 3 pages), double-spaced with 12-point font and 1-inch margins on all pages, addressing:
    1. your participation and/or leadership in LGBT related organizations or activities and
    2. your future educational and career goals.
  • A current resume.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from faculty, staff, supervisor or other professional, at least one of whom can attest to your academic capabilities and at least one of whom is familiar with your involvement with LGBT organizations or activities.
  • Transcripts from the college or university most recently attended (unofficial transcripts issued by the institution are acceptable).

Selection Process & Timeline

All applications will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee.
All applicants will receive notification of selection results during the spring semester.


Please direct any questions about the Joseph Harry Scholarship to:

Joseph Harry Scholarship Committee
LGBT & Women’s Resource Center
Women's Resource Center Building, 105 Normal Rd
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

lgbt@niu.edu or 815-753-5428.