The Armstrong Scholarship was established in 2011 by the parents of Chris Armstrong, the first openly gay student-elected president of the Michigan Student Assembly, now called the Central Student Government. The scholarship was set up in his name to help teenagers who face bullying attend the university. Armstrong made national headlines last year when he was publicly rebuked for his sexuality.
"We are very pleased and proud to establish a scholarship at the Spectrum Center in our son's name. It is our way of trying to give back a small fraction of all that the University of Michigan gave to Chris during his four years as an undergraduate,” said Cynthia Armstrong.
Bullying has garnered more national attention as of late, and it is in the interest of the Armstrongs to continue to raise awareness on this issue and help those who might have been a victim of bullying. According to Education.com, “statistics on the rates of bullying and cyberbullying vary between studies, due to the measures used; however, the general consensus is that one out of three children are bullied at school, in the neighborhood, or online and that one out of three children bully others.” The Armstrongs are committed to ending this type of behavior.
"The University of Michigan was the most supportive environment for someone who was just learning who they were and to discover oneself. It was incredibly humbling and inspiring to see the university rally behind me and support me in a time of immense vulnerability. This scholarship is meant to honor that moment, a moment where the university cast aside its differences to show a commitment to value the diversity of all of its members,” said Chris Armstrong.
"Chris found his leadership voice the moment he arrived in Ann Arbor, and over four years, he was able to accomplish a great deal, despite the harassment that he had to endure after being elected president of the Student Assembly,” pointed out Steve Armstrong. “He endured that period with great strength and courage, and over time, Cynthia and I came to realize from where he was drawing so much of that strength and courage. We saw the university respond with one, powerful, resounding, and unified voice to the shameful attacks on Chris, from the president, the regents, the administration, the faculty, the Spectrum Center, and from every student on campus.”
To be eligible, you must be entering the University of Michigan as a full-time undergraduate student, show documented leadership of, support for, or involvement in organizations, activities, or issues that benefit the lesbian, gay male, bisexual and transgender communities, and be willing to be publicly recognized as a recipient of the award.
“We hope that the Chris Armstrong Scholarship fund can fulfill its promise – to bring to Michigan those students who show leadership and courage in the face of bullying, taunting, teasing, and harassment. Just like Chris, these students can find their voice and their future in Ann Arbor, which is truly a better place," concluded Steve Armstrong.
Visit the Spectrum website to learn more and download the application.
To donate to the Chris Armstrong Scholarship please visit our giving page and select the scholarship as your area of support.