Today@Sam Article

Bearkat Emergency Fund Fuels Help For Students

April 14, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton


Throughout its 140 years, SHSU has directly experienced events that changed our nation. With each change, Bearkats had to find new ways to face those challenges and today is no different. Alumni have stepped up in a big way recently with generous gifts to the Bearkat Emergency Fund.

More than 75 percent of Bearkat students depend on income from jobs to help pay for college, and are seriously impacted by the closures of restaurants, retail stores, and other businesses. Some students are experiencing housing insecurity, food insecurity, or both.

“During this crisis, we want to help our most vulnerable student population and address their basic needs to keep their education on track,” said SHSU President Dana Hoyt. “The Bearkat Emergency Fund was established to provide temporary financial assistance to those students who have hardships due to COVID-19.”

More than 150 donors have pledged gifts so far and the university has extended the deadline for students by opening a second application period from April 13 to April 17. The university is also currently working through the federal stimulus package that could provide additional aid to students in need. More information is expected to be released by May 1.

“The Bearkat Emergency Funds committee is currently meeting on a daily basis to review the requests,” said Heather Thielemann, vice president of Enrollment Management. “Awards will be considered to cover hardships such as: unexpected expenses, loss of employment, technology need, and other resources related to emergency assistance.”

As the second window for submissions opened this week, SHSU received more than 1500 applications for assistance on Monday, April 13 alone.

Individuals interested in supporting students through the Bearkat Emergency Fund are encouraged to give a gift today at or by calling 936-294-3625.

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