Students establish endowed scholarships at Kennesaw State

KENNESAW, Ga. | May 14, 2024

Left to right, Vice President of Student Affairs Eric Arneson, Lucas Cardona, Matt Brown, and Dean of Students Ronald Briggs Jr.

When members of a student organization at Kennesaw State University were looking for a way to give back to the institution, they struck upon a rather unique opportunity to make a difference for years to come.

The path laid out by the Interfraternity Council (IFC) was to create two endowed scholarships to benefit those in student organizations on campus. The scholarships are the first at KSU established by students for students.

“These scholarships are a huge indicator of us trying to give back to the community,” said Matt Brown, president of the IFC and a junior majoring in finance. “People can see this when coming into the school.”

The IFC contributed $33,000 that – with a match from the KSU Foundation – will result in two $25,000 endowed scholarships providing $1,000 per student annually beginning in Fall 2025.

The development of the scholarships came about when members of the Interfraternity Council discovered that an increase in membership provided a boost in revenues.

Lucas Cardona, vice president for finance for the Interfraternity Council, noticed that the council was bringing more money than it needed to operate. He talked to Stacey Hurt-Milner, the director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at KSU, about opportunities for spending the funds. As a nonprofit tax-exempt organization, the IFC has limits in how its income can be spent.

Cardona and Hurt-Milner started brainstorming about options for how best to spend the money. After several discussions with administrators of Student Affairs and University Advancement, the IFC members decided that scholarships for students would be the best opportunity.

“For the men to make such a declaration, they didn’t have to do it, but they had conversations with other members of the community,” Hurt-Milner said. “I dropped the seed, and they picked it up and ran with it. They wanted to give back to the community that gives to them. We believe in paying it forward.”