The History Department grants several scholarships and awards to undergraduates and graduate students. The amount and number of awards is dependent upon the income generated each year by the endowment of the scholarships. For specific information, please contact the chair of the Awards Committee, Dr. Ron Gifford.
The family of James Todd Wilborn established this award in memory of their son, a sophomore history major who was killed in an automobile accident. It is granted in the spring to a sophomore who is majoring in History and who has a GPA of 3.0. Applicants are required to fill out an application form, provide evidence of scholarship and leadership achievement, and meet with the selection committee.
Lucy Lucille Tasher, who taught American History at Illinois State from 1935 until her retirement in 1971, endowed several scholarships for seniors majoring in History. The Tasher Scholarship is given in the fall to one or more seniors on the basis of their academic achievement and service to the Department and University. To be eligible, a student must have taken 90 credit hours by the start of the fall semester, at least 60 of which must have been taken at Illinois State, have a 3.5 GPA, be a full-time student, cannot have been eligible before, and must be nominated by a faculty member.
Gleynafa T. Ray attended Illinois State Normal University from 1926 to 1930 and majored in History, English, and Education. She subsequently taught in Illinois and Iowa. Undergraduates must have junior standing, have attended Illinois State for the preceding two semesters (this may include the summer session), have 3.5 GPA, and be enrolled in the Teacher Education sequence. Faculty members nominate students, who are required to write an essay on a prescribed topic and to obtain two letters from faculty members who are not on the History Education staff. The Department may award a grant to a graduate student who intends to teach.
Kyle Sessions, who taught at Illinois State from 1967 until his retirement in 1999 and designed the honor's program in History. His wife, Jean, established this scholarship for students enrolled in the Department's Honor's Program. To be eligible, a student must have a 3.5 GPA in History and at least an overall GPA of 3.3, be a member of good standing in the History and University Honors programs, have earned between 60 and 90 credit hours, expect to complete their bachelor's degree with both University and History Honors, and have not previously applied.
Dr. Stephane E. Booth and her husband David established the Mark Wyman Scholarship Fund to support, preferably, freshman students of non-traditional age who are majoring in History. Professor Wyman, Distinguished Professor-Emeritus of History, taught at Illinois State from 1971 to 2004. He is the author of seven books dealing with Western and American labor and immigration history. His publications include the Fourteenth Decade, which reviews the history of the University from 1987 to 1997. Professor Wyman directed Stephane's master's thesis and doctoral dissertation. Dr. Booth is a tenured professor of History and Women's Studies as well as an associate dean at Kent State University. Professor Wyman and his friends and colleagues also contributed to the endowment.
Holding a doctorate in history, Sandra Harmon has served ISU in numerous capacities: as an instructor in the Department from 1972 to 2003, twice as interim director of the Women's Studies Program, as interim Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action, and as Director of the Affirmative Action Office. Paul Harmon, an undergraduate history major and lawyer by training, includes in his extensive university and community service membership on the Normal City Council and the position of mayor of Normal from 1985 to 1993. The Harmons established this scholarship to provide resources to attract outstanding undergraduate minority students to the Department of History.
This award was established by the Howard family to honor William Howard's contributions as an educator and his sacrifice during World War II. After starting his studies at ISNU, Howard joined the Army Air corps and served as a pilot in the 100th Bomber group. At age 21 he led the crew of a B-17 that was hit in April 1945 and spent the waning months of the war in grim conditions in a prison camp. Returning to civilian life after the war, Howard completed bachelor's and master's degrees in history and subsequently taught and coached for over 30 years, mostly at Joliet Central High. The Howard family established this generous award for an excellent paper on World War II or American history in general.
Darrel Sutter graduated from ISNU in 1960 and then taught social sciences at Roanoke-Benson High School until 1995. After that he taught sociology at Lincoln College until 2005. During his four years at Illinois State University, Darrel had to work many hours every week and keep up with his studies. His hope is that this scholarship will make it a little easier for the recipient. This award will go to a full time student who has earned 60 credit hours, is a History-Social Sciences Education Major who has a demonstrated financial need.
Louis E. Miglio was born on September 17, 1922, in Marseilles, Illinois. After serving in the navy during World War II, he attended Illinois State Normal University (ISNU), majoring in Social Studies (History & Geography). He received B.A. and M.A. degrees from ISNU and went on to teach social studies at junior and senior high schools in Illinois from 1952 to 1982. In 1957-58, he was awarded a Fulbright Teacher Exchangeship in England. A current resident of Decatur, Illinois, he created the Louis E. Miglio History Scholarship to support deserving ISU students with a demonstrated desire to be history teachers.