Although this fundraiser has concluded, you can make a donation to the Fanny Ruth Patterson Scholarship by visiting and typing "Fanny Ruth Patterson" into the "designation" field.

Fanny Ruth Patterson Fundraiser

Fanny Ruth Patterson, first African-American student to graduate from Northern
Raised toward our $22,000 Goal
209 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 31, at 11:59 PM CST
Project Owners

Fanny Ruth Patterson Scholarship Fundraiser

*** On 12/20/2022, a $10,000 challenge was just unlocked to support students! Congratulation on the effort so far! The Black Alumni Council continues to fundraise in support of our current students and appreciates your continued contributions!***

Thank you for your interest in supporting the Black Alumni Council's (BAC) goal of raising $22,000 for the Fanny Ruth Patterson Scholarship!

The first $10,000 raised during this campaign will be awarded to students for the 2023 - 2024 academic year. Any funds raised above and beyond that amount will be added to the endowment for the scholarship in order to help the Black Alumni Council fund the scholarship in perpetuity. In addition to our goal, Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Vernese Edghill-Walden, in direct collaboration with the BAC, has set out on an ambitious goal to secure $500,000 or more to permanently endow the Fanny Ruth Patterson Scholarship Fund. By capitalizing on the momentum, visibility and opportunity presented by the dedication of the Fanny Ruth Patterson Complex at homecoming 2022, endowing this fund in perpetuity is a real possibility.

Fanny Ruth Patterson was the first black student to graduate from NIU. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1915 and was known as a brave innovator at Northern Illinois University. After graduating, Fanny taught school for several years until succumbing to tuberculosis. This scholarship has been established by the Black Alumni Council to honor Fanny for her role in blazing a trail for other Black or African American students to follow at Northern Illinois University. You can learn more about her legacy here.

The purpose of the Fanny Ruth Patterson Scholarship is to promote the educational benefits that derive from a diverse student body. The Fund will provide scholarship support for deserving students who have a minimum of 70 credit hours, 2.5 GPA or greater, been active in campus affairs, and embodied the spirit of Fanny Ruth Patterson. Read more about last year's recipients here.

More than $100,000 have been provided to students through the Fanny Ruth Patterson Scholarship since 1988. Donate today to help continue that legacy!

Kyle Johnson, prior Fanny Ruth Patterson Scholarship recipient:
“It means a lot to me because, as an African American male coming from a single-parent home, my mom bears all the responsibilities at home,” he said. “It means a lot for me to see her work hard and for me to emulate that and be that type of hard worker that receives honors. 2020 was a hard year for people—I feel I have been blessed to receive this special award.”
Kee Taylor, prior Fanny Ruth Patterson Scholarship recipient:
“When I found out (I would receive the scholarship), I was over the moon. I was very excited and honored to hear that I got this scholarship,” they said. “Next semester, I will be student-teaching, and I was concerned about if I would be able to afford to do that. With this scholarship, I am able to do it, and that makes me very happy.” 
Brooke Benford, prior Fanny Ruth Patterson Scholarship recipient:
“Receiving this scholarship means a little more than just a monetary gain,” she said. “This scholarship allows me to make the Brooke of yesterday and all those who came before me proud—proud to know that I am moving closer to achieving my goals.” 

Organization Name
Total Gifts
Total Fundraised
AKA - ΔΟ15$748.56
ΑΦΑ - ΕΦ    34
B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S.          2
Black Male Initiative17$1,269.11
Center for Black Studies
Northern Black Choir            
College of Business Mentors4
ΩΨΦ - IΔ4$1,250
ΦΒΣ - EΓ14
ΣΓΡ - ZN12$1,357
$11,805 *includes anonymous $10K gift

**list updated as of 2:45 p.m. CT on 1/4/23

Interested in making your donation in person, via mail, or in another form? Learn more here.

Our way
of Thanking You


Level 1

You'll earn a shout out during the virtual fundraiser on Dec. 4!

71 of 10000 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2022


Level 2

$250 donors will receive a shout out and spotlight during the virtual fundraiser on Dec. 4!

13 of 1000000 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2022


Level 2

$500 donors will be celebrated in a big way with a shout out, spotlight, and opportunity to request a song on Dec. 4.

7 of 10000 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2022
Our Crowdfunding Groups