LGBT Student Scholarship

GALA ND/SMC Announces Recipients of the 2016/2017 Scholarships

To Donate Visit: LGBT Student Scholarship Campaign

GALA ND/SMC is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016/2017 LGBT Student Scholarships.  This year’s recipients are Samuel Cho ND ’18 and Maranda Pennington SMC ’17.  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.  To date, two scholarships have been awarded in both the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic years.  The long term goal is to increase that to 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.

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 will be co-chair of the student Diversity Council next year.  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 are working together to create a panel for educating the Saint Mary’s community on LGBT tolerance and inclusion.  The panel is scheduled to take place in September 2016.

Adreinne pic
Adrienne Whisman is entering her senior year at Saint Mary’s College studying History and Humanistic Studies.  Adrienne will be the SMC student representative to GALA’s board for the 2016/2017 academic year.  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