Wheaton College offers scholarship to students with 'proven service to' the 'LGBTQ+ community'

To be eligible for the 'Wheaton Pride Scholarship,' students must demonstrate ‘[a] commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.’

The first year of the scholarship program will see each participating student receive $2,500.

Wheaton College, a Norton, Massachusetts school, has announced a “Wheaton Pride Scholarship” to promote LGBT and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles.

According to a Feb. 14 post on the Wheaton Blog, “A three-year, $30,000 pledge from President Michaele Whelan has created the Wheaton Pride Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to students with a demonstrated financial need who have records of service to and leadership in the LGBTQ+ community and who have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.”

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Eligibility requirements include a “[p]roven service to and/or leadership in the LGBTQ+ community” and “[a] commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” as seen on the scholarship page. 

The page notes that two students will receive the “need-based” scholarship annually, which will amount to “$2,500 per student for the inaugural year.” 

Some alumni voiced their support for the scholarship. 

“In higher education, where there is an ongoing attack on affinity-based initiatives, it heartens me to know that Wheaton has not succumbed to political pressures to eliminate these types of initiatives,” said Tony Laing, a DEI official at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Wheaton alumnus, as seen on the Wheaton Blog

This isn’t the first time that Wheaton has pursued a DEI-based initiative. 

In 2023, the college announced a project titled “Transforming the Future of Health Education: Centering Race and Medical Humanities” that is focused on “[providing] the opportunity for students, faculty and institutions of higher learning to understand the role that race, cultural backgrounds and global perspectives play in the study of health and medicine and in the equitable delivery of health care.”

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Campus Reform has previously reported that last July, Yahoo! Finance published an article “that outlines the eight best scholarships for students who identify as LGBTQ. The wide range of options include the National Gay Pilots Association Scholarship and a scholarship specifically for ‘LGBTQ+ single parents or the children of LGBTQ+ single parents.’”

Campus Reform reached out to Wheaton College for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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A previous version of this article erroneously referred to Wheaton College as a Christian school. Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, is a liberal arts school with no religious affiliation, as seen on its website