Industry-Sponsored Research Week

BC/BS of Minnesota pledges $500K to Minnesota State-Mankato for scholarship program and undergrad research center


By David Schwartz
Published: January 10th, 2022

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has pledged $500,000 to Minnesota State University-Mankato over seven years to establish a presidential scholarship program and provide annual support for the university’s Undergraduate Research Center.

According to Minnesota State-Mankato President Edward Inch, the gift will provide for 24 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Presidential Scholarships over seven years. Each recipient will receive $5,000 annually for four years.

The new awards are on top of Minnesota State-Mankato’s existing 10 Presidential Scholarships per year. Inch said the addition of the new BC/BS of Minnesota scholarships dollars would make a significant impact on opportunities for students.

“We thank Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota for this transformative gift,” said Inch. “It’s noteworthy that this scholarship program will support students from across the university. The scholarships will help prepare our students for future roles as leaders in diverse and inclusive communities.”

Blue Cross has a long history of investing in communities experiencing significant health inequities through collaborations with individuals, organizations and partners who have the greatest potential for impact. In 2020, the company added Racial and Health Equity as a core business functional area, with an emphasis on addressing the needs of Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian Pacific Islander, and other people of color across all areas of their business. One of the goals for the new scholarships is to bring more diversity to health care and other fields.

“Our aspiration is for these scholarships to help build more career pathways for BIPOC health care practitioners, culturally competent care providers, and future changemakers across all our communities,” said Bukata Hayes, vice president of Racial and Health Equity at Blue Cross. “This thoughtful partnership with Minnesota State-Mankato is a pathway to such outcomes and will foster those future community connections that are difficult to create, but crucial for health and happiness.”

In addition to the scholarships, Blue Cross has earmarked $20,000 over seven years for Minnesota State Mankato’s Undergraduate Research Center, providing support for students to build mentoring relationships that enable them to participate in research, scholarship, and creative activities.

Source: Minnesota State University, Mankato

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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