On October 3, 2003, the Southern Illinois Park and Recreation Association (SIPRA) established and funded an educational grant/scholarship program designed to assist individuals who wish to further their educational endeavors. In October of 2008 SIPRA established the $2,000 (now $2,500) “Otto Rice Memorial” scholarship honoring a fellow park and recreation professional that died unexpectedly leaving a legacy of professional commitment to the Community Public Park and Recreation Profession. In January of 2017 SIPRA rededicated its Scholarship Program as the “H. George Whitehead Scholarship” in memory of our long-time member, colleague and friend, George Whitehead, who passed away in March, 2016.
Annually thereafter, once the money has been earmarked and set aside, and whenever a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received, no more than (two $1,000.00 scholarships) and no more than (one $2,500 “Otto Rice Memorial” scholarship) shall be awarded to undergraduate (juniors or seniors) or to masters’ graduate students enrolled in four year university-level recreation curriculum or a masters level curriculum (pursuing a career in local community based Public Park and Recreation leisure services). (Not careers at hospitals, colleges, national forests, state or national parks, or campus recreation, etc.). SIPRA reserves the right to adjust the number of scholarships awarded. Additionally, all award recipients will receive a two-year SIPRA membership.
Payment of the awards will be made in two installments. The first half of the award will be mailed to the student scholarship recipient(s) on or before May, 2017. In order to receive the remainder of their award, the SIPRA Student Scholarship recipient(s) must be in attendance at either the SIPRA meeting scheduled for April 7, 2017 in Mt. Vernon, IL, or the SIPRA meeting scheduled for May 4, 2017 in Carbondale, Illinois.