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May 10, 2012
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU awards $12,000 in Meiping Cheng Memorial Scholarships

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa - Slippery Rock University has awarded $12,000 to six 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 are:

Spencer Blackman, an exercise science major from Phelps, N.Y., $3,000; Christa Berlingeri, a early childhood and special education major from Mayfield Heights, Ohio, $3,000; Brandon Sing, an exercise science major from Erie, $2,000; Megan Neil, a music therapy major from Harrisburg, $2,000; Kaila Kramer, a biology major from Murrysville, $1,000; and Kortnee Koziara, a mathematics major from Strattanville, $1,000.

Madame Cheng, who was 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, more than 60 SRU students have received the award, which ranges up to $3,000 per year.

A plaque noting establishment of the 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 “How My University Education and Activities and Community Service will be Beneficial in Pursuing My Future Goals and How this Education will Contribute to the Betterment of Society” is also required along with three recent letter of recommendation and other details.

Applications for next year’s awards are due March 15 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.