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Scholarship History

Dr. Charles Arzeni Tropical Biology Fund

Charles was a Lord Scholar and studied under Dr. Stover as a student. 15 years after graduation and after 2 years of teaching in Beirut, he took a job at Northeastern in Chicago. Ruth Carman (Carman Hall) had given Joan a recipe for Ham Loaf that she had lost. Joan called up Ruth to ask for the recipe and informed them they had moved back to the states. Ruth Carman then phoned the botany department at Eastern. Dr. Thut & Dr. Damon drove up to Chicago to ask Charles to come to work at Eastern as an Associate Professor. He joined the staff shortly thereafter, in 1965.

Arzeni supervised more than 40 graduate students during his tenure at Eastern. Arzeni was awarded two Fullbright Scholarships (Colombia & Peru) and served as Resident Director of Tropical Biology for more than 10 summers at the Technology Institute of Superior Studies in Monterrey, Mexico. In May of 1986, Charles received the Faculty Excellence Award. Charles was incredibly close with his students and always encouraged them to pursue further education. He would pop popcorn in his lab every night as he spent his nights there with his students. He made special educational trips over the summer with his students to China, Galapagos Islands, Machu Pichu, Jamaica, etc.)

The scholarship was established shortly after his passing October 9, 1997, by his wife, Joan and children, with the help of Dr. Andrew Methven (EIU Biology Department). The purpose of the fund is to encourage students to get out and see the world; experiencing new cultures. Life is so precious in cultures overseas. You can make such an immediate impact. You will find that the people will have a true appreciation of what you are giving them that can be felt. Since 2005, six students have been selected as recipients and awarded a total of $3,000.

Errett and Mazie Warner Presidential Awards

Born on May 24, 1898, Errett Warner is one of Eastern's most honored alums, as he extended his loyalty and generosity to the University throughout much of his adult life. A 1925 graduate of EIU, Warner played baseball and football, also captaining the football team in 1924. Following graduation, he became one of the state's most prominent educators serving several Illinois public school systems for 42 years as a teacher, coach, administrator and superintendent. He later was employed by the state of Illinois as an inspector with the Department of Mines and Minerals. Errett Warner was the recipient of Eastern's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1975 and received a Doctorate of Humane Letters in 1987. Warner served EIU in other capacities including becoming a president and member of the board of directors of the EIU Foundation and a charter member of the President's Club.

In 1977, Errett Warner established the Errett and Mazie Presidential Awards recognizing outstanding juniors and seniors in 17 different academic areas. Since that time, the awards have expanded to 18 different academic areas and have impacted the educational lives of many EIU students. Presently, students in the following areas of discipline meeting criteria have been eligible to receive the award. The recognized areas include Athletics, Botany, Educational Administration, Elementary Education, English, Geology-Geography, History, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Secondary Education, Special Education, Zoology, Pre-Legal Studies, Environmental Biology, Pre-Medical Studies, Higher Education, and Journalism. Since 2003, Errett and Mazie Warner's generosity have helped over 385 students with financial awards totaling over $591,000. Quoted from an EIU News article dated April 19, 1989, Stanley Rives (former EIU President) stated the following about Errett Warner and the scholarships that he endowed to the University, " He stands here as an inspiration to the young scholars to do their best to pursue laudable goals. The Warner scholars have become physicians, engineers, lawyers, and teachers". The Errett and Mazie Warner Presidential Awards are a lasting legacy in education and the university that Errett Warner believed in so strongly.

Sidney R. Steele Student Summer Award

Dr. Sidney Steele began his life in Toledo, Ohio. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Toledo and later his Ph. D. in analytical chemistry from Ohio State University. As an adult, Dr. Steele married Harriett Helms in 1944 and had two children, Janet and Harvey. Prior to coming to Eastern Illinois University to teach, he worked briefly for the Girdler Corporation in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Sidney Steele was a professor in the Chemistry Department teaching analytical chemistry for 28 years and served as department chair from 1967-1977. Following retirement, he returned to EIU and taught chemistry part-time.

In 1997, Dr. Steele established the Sidney R. Steele Graduate Summer Award. Dr. Steele expressed the importance of continuing education in the summer semester and having unique learning experiences. At the time of its origination, the award was design was different than all others within the Chemistry Department. Since 2003, 8 students have been selected as recipients of the Sidney R. Steele Student Summer Award and have been awarded over $14,000. Dr. Sidney Steele passed away on November 24, 2007, however his legacy and passion in education continue to live on through this scholarship.

Nate Anderson Scholarship

Nate Anderson has held a long standing relationship with Eastern Illinois University dating back to the 1970's. Known as "Nate the Great", Mr. Anderson played on the Panther football team as a running back. He held numerous rushing records while attending EIU. In 1973, Anderson was named first-team All American by the American Football Coaches Association and was a third team All-American by the Associated Press. Graduating in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation, he continued his education and later earned a Master of Science in Education in 1977 from Eastern. Mr. Anderson received his Specialist in Education degree from Southeast Missouri State University in 1991 and his doctorate in Educational Administration from Illinois State University in 1998.

He has spent over 25 years working in educational administration, offering expertise and guidance within large community districts, being employed as a principal at Rock Island High School and a superintendent of the East St. Louis school district. He has worked at the University of Illinois-Springfield, teaching educational leadership courses at the graduate level. Throughout the years, Nate Anderson has served EIU in many capacities. He has devoted time through service on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Educational Administration Advisory Committee, and the University Board of Trustees as both a member and board chair. He also has been a member of the Panther Club. The Nate Anderson Scholarship was established in 2004 in his honor and as a testament to his beliefs in education and improving services for children. Since the scholarship's establishment, 15 students have been selected as recipients with awards totaling over $4,650.