LGBT Student Scholarship

Application for Scholarships for the 2018/2019 Academic Year is Now Closed.
Go To:  Application Process 

To Donate Visit: LGBT Student Scholarship Campaign

GALA ND/SMC is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017/2018 LGBT Student Scholarships.  This year’s recipients are Morgan Haney SMC ’18 and Sushi Le SMC ’20.  Congratulations to both winners!

Purpose and Background

In the spring of 2015, the Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College created The GALA ND/SMC LGBT Student Scholarship to assist qualified LGBT undergraduate students of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College.  Through April-2017, six scholarships have been awarded.  The long term goal is to award a minimum of four scholarships each year.

The students this scholarship helps are the new generation of Notre Dame and St Mary’s grads. Even with the changing times, LGBT students still face significant challenges that their straight peers may not.  The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance and support to full-time undergraduate students who identify with the LGBT community. This scholarship will assist the recipients with reducing the financial costs incurred (~$65,000 for ’15/’16) while pursuing their education as well as allowing them to make a positive impact at Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, and/or the South Bend community.

2017/2018 Recipients Morgan Haney SMC ’18 and Sushi Le SMC ’20

Morgan is a Psychology major at Saint Mary’s College with a minor in biology and sociology. While active in extracurricular activities in high school, Morgan has been required to focus on working three jobs outside of her academic studies at St Mary’s and has been financially independent since the age of 19.  Morgan is interested in research, and this scholarship will allow her the freedom to get involved with research professors at Saint Mary’s College.  For her community service project, based upon her personal experience, Morgan would like to help other LGBTQ homeless in the South Bend area during her senior year.


Sushi is an intended Art/Psychology double major achieving an impressive 4.0 GPA her freshman year while holding down several work/study jobs. During her first year, Sushi was very involved in Project SHE (Spreading Hope through Education) providing graphics, technical and website support. She is also active in the choir and equestrian club.  For her community service project, Sushi would like to host a workshop to enlighten and spread awareness by encouraging people to think and make a difference.


2016/2017 Recipients Samuel Cho ND ’18 and Maranda Pennington SMC ’17

Sam Cho pic_1Sam Cho is double majoring at Notre Dame in Computer Science and Graphic Design.  He has been active in PrismND, the Asian American Association and was the co-chair of the student Diversity Council in 2016/2017.  For his community service project, Sam would like to organize an event that celebrates the LGBTQ community and recognizes its importance in relation to Notre Dame’s campus similar to other diversity groups such as Latino and Asian American.  As Sam shared, “I would very much like to change Notre Dame for the better and really increase the visibility and awareness of the LGBTQ community on campus….”.


Maranda picMaranda Pennington is a Nursing student at Saint Mary’s with a minor in Biology.  She has been Vice President of SAGA and has held many positions for the SMC Dance Marathon which supports the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.  Next year, she looks forward to being the president of the Dance Marathon event.  For Maranda’s community service project, she feels that “sharing personally stories allows us to see the humanity and commonality in one another”.  To accomplish this, she would like to document the stories of LGBTQ SMC and ND students, and create a video and/or blog to be shared throughout both campuses.

2015/2016 Recipients Adrienne Whisman SMC ’17 and Bri O’Brien SMC ’16 

For their community service projects, Adrienne and Bri worked together to create a panel for educating the Saint Mary’s community on LGBT tolerance and inclusion.  The panel which took place in September 2016.

Adreinne pic
Adrienne Whisman studied History and Humanistic Studies at Saint Mary’s.  Adrienne was the SMC student representative to GALA’s board in 2016/2017, and moved on the be the SMC alumnae rep upon graduation.  To hear Adrienne describe her feelings being the scholarship recipient go to: 2015/2016 GALA ND/SMC LGBT Student Scholarship Recipient.


Bri O’Brien graduated in 2016 from Saint Mary’s College Social Work.  She spent her senior year actively supporting LGBT issues on campus.



HOW TO HELP (Alumni and Friends):  To help deserving students like the ones above continue their education, please consider donating to the LGBT Scholarship Fund.

HOW TO APPLY (Students):  For information on the application process, go to:  LGBT Student Scholarship Application Process