Emma Shore-Thornton Endowment Fund

This endowed fund was established in 1990 at the behest of Emma Shore-Thornton, who was inspired to create this opportunity by the efforts of the Native American Institute's founding Director, Dr. George Cornell.  The program recognizes outstanding American Indian undergraduate and graduate students at Michigan State University who are actively engaged in careers and/or activities that promote the recognition of issues of importance to American Indian and First Nations peoples in today’s world either at MSU or abroad.  The program has been jointly administered by the MSU Foundation and the Native American Institute and has worked to promote and recognize the successes of these exceptional American Indian students at Michigan State University.

Awards are made from the endowment every spring semester with the call for applications announced in February and awards given in April in conjunction with the NAISO annual graduation event.  The award amount is dependent on the availability of funds and the number of applicants.

The following are the eligibility, evalation criteria and requirements materials for applicants.  These are subject to modification and the annual announcement for a given year should be referenced when applying. 

Graduate Students:

  • You must be currently enrolled full time in a degree granting graduate program at Michigan State University.
  • You must have maintained at least a 3.5 GPA in your program at MSU.   

Undergraduate Students:

  • You must be a junior or senior enrolled full time at Michigan State University.
  • You must have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA at MSU.
  • You must be in residence at the MSU East Lansing campus during the 2015-16 academic year (or on an approved MSU Study Abroad Program).


  • Provide a 500 word personal statement, which details:
    • your class standing, major(s), and tribal affiliation/descendancy.
    • A description of your current and active engagement in American Indian activities and/or career path. Please describe how you see them benefitting yourself as an American Indian student and scholar as well as to the promotion of issues of American Indian and First Nations peoples either at MSU or abroad.
  • A current MSU transcript with GPA.
  • SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Varies annually. 
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