University Communications

Rice’s vision prompts merit scholarship name change

July 10, 2014 | Wendy Bredhold
Wendy Bredhold
Media Relations Specialist University Communications 812-461-5259

The merit-based scholarship the University of Southern Indiana offers to first-time, first-year freshmen has been renamed the David L. Rice Scholarship in honor of the University’s founding president, Dr. David L. Rice.

“Making education affordable for Hoosiers is part of the whole mission of USI, and was President Rice’s vision,” said Mark Rusk, interim director of Admission. “His vision was always to provide opportunities and access to higher education to the people of this area and Indiana as a whole. He’s had a huge impact on education in this region over the last 50 years.”

Rice served as administrative head of the campus when he arrived in Evansville 1967 and led the University for 27 years, becoming president in 1971. His administration oversaw the development of USI from a regional campus of Indiana State University to a separate state university known as the University of Southern Indiana in 1985.

In the early years of the institution, Rice said, “Every citizen who desires an education, who is capable of attaining an education and who is willing to achieve an education shall have the opportunity to do so.”

When he arrived in Evansville, southwest Indiana had the lowest postsecondary educational attainment level in the state. His leadership helped the region’s college participation rate meet and then exceed the state averages.

The Rice Scholarship is a four-year award with reasonable renewal criteria. This scholarship ranges in value from $500 per year up to full yearly tuition. Award amounts for this scholarship range in value based on a student's cumulative grade point average and SAT or ACT scores. 

“This continues our mission to keep the best and brightest students from our state here in Indiana and the local region,” Rusk said. That region includes four Kentucky counties - Daviess, Hancock, Henderson and Union – through the Indiana-Kentucky Reciprocal Tuition Program.

When President Linda L. M. Bennett told President Emeritus Rice about the renaming of the scholarship, Rice said he was “humbled, deeply pleased and greatly appreciative.”

The USI Undergraduate Application for Admission serves as the application for the Rice Scholarship; no separate application is required. Use the online cost calculator to determine your award amount.

University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, Indiana 47712 Phone 812/464-8600
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