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April 4, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU names Cheng memorial scholars

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University has awarded $20,000 to 10 students as part of the annual Meiping Cheng Memorial Scholarship presentation.

The endowed scholarship was created by the late Madame Nien Cheng in honor of her daughter Meiping Cheng who was killed at age 24 by Maoist revolutionaries for refusing to testify against her during Chairman Mao's rule of China. Meiping Cheng, the daughter of Kang-chi and Nien Cheng, was a promising actress.

Scholarship recipients for 2014 are:

•Connor MacKelvey, an early childhood development major from Fairview ($3,000);

•Kaisha Jantsch, an English major from Cranberry Township ($3,000);

•Elise Augustine , a public health major from Jefferson Hills ($3,000);

•Ashlee Moeller, a psychology major from Beaver Falls ($2,000);

•Ashley McCollum, a marketing major from Karns City ($2,000);

•Mary Conklin, an athletic training major from Hershey ($2,000);

•Kara Yasika, an athletic training major from Chicora ($2,000);

•Kimberly Bell, an English major from Slippery Rock ($1,000);

•Kaitlyn Meerhoff, a criminology and criminal justice major from Corry ($1,000); and

•Rachel Hollingsworth, a biology major from Independence, Ohio ($1,000).

Madame Cheng, who was previously honored at SRU's annual Academic Honors Convocation and befriended SRU, was the author of the 1987 international best seller "Life and Death in Shanghai," which recounts her daughter's life. Madame Cheng died in 2008 at age 94 in Washington, D.C., and bequeathed $600,000 to the SRU Foundation Inc. in her will.

Louis Razzano, administrator emeritus and longtime friend of Madame Cheng, chairs the scholarship selection committee.

The scholarship was created as a memorial so Meiping Cheng's name would live in perpetuity as a reminder to everyone that freedom and justice and truth require constant vigilance. Her mother had called the scholarship a fitting tribute to Meiping Cheng, "a young lady who felt great compassion and concern for the plight of the disadvantaged."

In addition to faculty and staff donations to the scholarship, contributions have come from Princess Grace of Monaco, the princess of Gloucester and Ann Getty of Getty Oil.

Since its first award in 1989, nearly 80 SRU students have received the award, which can range up to $4,000 per year.

A plaque Cheng's scholarship is located near the Circulation Desk in SRU's Bailey Library.

The scholarship is open to U.S. citizens enrolled at SRU in any major, as well as undeclared students working on an undergraduate degree. Applicants must carry a 3.5, or higher, grade point average, on at least 36 credits earned at SRU.

A maximum 250-word essay on the topic "What Contributions Would I Like to Make for the Betterment of People and Society Because of My Experiences and Educational Preparation?" is also required along with three recent letter of recommendation and other details.

Applications for next year's awards are due March 15, 2015 to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, 308 Old Main.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.