John R. Winchester Endowment Fund

This endowed fund was established in 2001 to honor and remember the life of John R. Winchester, one of the first American Indian admissions officers at Michigan State University.  John Winchester was dedicated to assisting undergraduate American Indian students to succeed in all facets of their time at Michigan State University.  The John R. Winchester Endowment Fund seeks to recognize American Indian students who demonstrate a strong commitment to the MSU American Indian Community, and priority for these funds is given to American Indian students who have worked to overcome academic challenges and other hardships in the pursuit of a degree.  Preference will be given to American Indian students who are enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe.

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.


  • You must be an enrolled, full time undergraduate student at Michigan State University.
  • You must have maintained a 2.0 or better GPA and not be on academic probation.


  • You must be active in your participation in the North American Indigenous Student Association (NAISO), the MSU chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and/or the Native American & Hispanic Business Students (NAHBS). Other forms of engagement with the campus American Indian community may be considered.  (active is defined as participating regularly in functions, helping to plan functions, or having a leadership role)
  • Preference is given to students who can provide documentation of tribal enrollment (i.e. tribal card, letter of support from your tribe, Bureau of Indian Affairs letter)


  • Provide a 500 word personal statement, which details:
    • Your class standing, college and major(s) (if applicable)
    • Tribal affiliation/descendancy
    • Your extra-curricular involvement with the American Indian community on campus.
    • How you believe you have overcome academic challenges or other hardships to maintain your commitment to your pursuit of a degree(s) at MSU.
  • A current MSU transcript with GPA.
  • SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Varies annually
Michigan State University Michigan State University Close Menu button Menu and Search button Open Close