For almost 50 years, the John W. Green Scholarship has encouraged academic excellence among student employees working in Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality (EMDH) by granting an award to winners of the scholarship who have a GPA of 2.75 or higher.

One of 13 departments in the Division of Student Affairs, EMDH is the combination of the Bone Student Center and Campus Dining Services. The two departments merged in December 2016, making it the largest department on campus with over 1,300 employees, 800 of which are students.

The John W. Green Award was established by former agriculture professor John Green upon his retirement in 1970 from Illinois State. During World War II, Green worked with student employees in food service to organize meals for the Navy V-12 unit that resided on campus. Impressed by their dedication to service while pursuing their education, Green decided he wanted to do something to encourage academic excellence for student employees in dining services. The first award was bestowed in 1971.

The John Green Scholarship directly impacts students like 2018 scholarship winner Bridget Colleran, a student working in the EMDH central hiring office. Colleran, who has a second job off-campus, works about 30–40 hours per week in addition to taking classes.

“This scholarship helped me with my tuition, which gave me more time to join clubs and enjoy my college experience. It allowed me to have more time at the beginning of the year to focus on schoolwork and not having as much pressure to work,” Colleran said.

The scholarship has also impacted Megan Grider, another student employee who works in the EMDH central hiring office.

“Receiving this scholarship has positively impacted me by providing me with funds for my education,” Grider said. “I receive financial aid through the University but sometimes it is not enough to cover all of my expenses. Having assistance in the form of a scholarship is very beneficial because I know it is money I will not have to pay back after graduation.”

In addition to having at least a 2.75 GPA, scholarship recipients must also have been employed with EMDH for at least four full semesters, have a good work and attendance record, and submit two letters of recommendation.

“This scholarship goes to someone who works extremely hard for EMDH and carries a strong work ethic, someone who is committed to bettering themselves and the ISU community–just like Mr. John Green,” Colleran said.

It is for these reasons that people like Matthew Horton, EMDH Executive Chef, donate to the John Green Fund.

“This scholarship is designed to help support our employees who are gaining valuable skills, that coupled with their academics, make them even more successful after graduation,” Horton said. “To play a tiny part in their success is another reason why it’s great to be a Redbird.”

Colleran emphasizes the importance of the scholarship by encouraging others to donate to the fund.

“The John Green Scholarship is extremely important to EMDH employees because it supports [their] mission of feeding and helping those in need around us, especially the hard-working college students who don’t necessarily always have the resources they need to maintain a proper nutritional meal,” Colleran said.

Director of EMDH Bill Legett echoes Colleran’s statement.

“EMDH employs the largest number of students at Illinois State University, so those [who] donate can help provide financial support to several deserving students working in the service industry,” he said.

If you are interested in helping students like Bridget Colleran or Megan Grider, please visit the Division of Student Affairs giving priorities page to donate to the John Green Scholarship.