SRU announces Cheng Scholarship awardees


Meiping Cheng


April 12, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Eight Slippery Rock University students have been awarded a total of $21,000 as part of the annual Meiping Cheng Memorial Scholarship presentations for the 2016-17 academic year.

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 2016-17 are:

  • Victoria Yeager, a geography major from Patton, $4,000;
  • Shelby Schettler, an environmental geoscience major from Butler, $3,000;
  • Kylee Proudfit, an athletic training major from St. Marys, $3,000;
  • Danielle McDermott, an English writing-creative major from Slippery Rock, $3,000;
  • Amber Davidson, a biology major from Warren, Ohio, $3,000;
  • Jael Funte, an athletic training major from Grove City, $3,000;
  • Tara Ohler, a social work major from Sandy Ridge, $1,000; and
  • Courtney Sundy, an athletic training major from Aliquippa, $1,000

Nien Cheng was the author of the 1987 international best seller "Life and Death in Shanghai," which recounts her daughter's life. Nien 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 Nien 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, 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."

Since its first award in 1989, more than 80 SRU students have received awards, which range from $1,000-$4,000 per year.

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 have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 based on at least 36 credits earned at SRU at the time of application.

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 letters of recommendation that address the applicants "capacity to analyze and synthesize information to reach sound and plausible conclusions based on factual data." Applicants must also submit a brief letter addressing their financial need, a resume and original transcripts.

Applications for next year's awards are due March 15, 2017 to the Office of the Advancement, 104 Maltby, Suite 100.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |