“I think that providing support for emerging student leaders is fantastic . . . it’s really encouraging to see Emory alums continuing to be involved with the LGBTQ community at Emory, and helps bridge the gap between the student community and alums. If someone who graduated years ago is still involved and keeping up with Emory’s LGBTQ community, it shows me clearly that community and experience at Emory is something they value a lot . . .”
These remarks by Cameron Coppala 16C underscore the value of GALA’s scholarship and leadership programs. Cameron is the recipient of the 2014 GALA Leadership Award. He is the sixth recipient of the award supported by an endowment in the Office of LGBT Life and funded by the GALA membership. In 2014 the award was increased to $4000.
The scholarship is complemented by two additional endowments, also established by GALA, which provide grants to students to develop their individual leadership potential. The Daniel D. Adame Leadership Fund and the J. Michael Aycock Leadership Development Fund afford stipends up to $1000, and in the past three years over 30 grants have been provided to students.
The grants have enabled students to attend regional and national conferences, and to lead workshops and give academic presentations. Grants have included attendance at NGLTF’s National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance Conference, the National Union of Jewish LGBTQ Jewish Students Conference, and support for a law school student internship in Washington, DC.
Building on those programs, earlier this year the OUTLaw Fund was established by Emory Law School students and alumni. This new fund will provide funding to maximize professional development for Emory University’s LGBTQ students in the School of Law, as well as provide educational opportunities for the entire Emory community related to sexuality and gender issues in the law.
Michael Aycock 64Ox 69C 82G, Chair of the GALA Scholarship Committee, recognized the contributions of alumni in supporting LGBT students. “The intellectual and extracurricular achievements of Emory’s LGBT students are impressive. In all these efforts they have our strong support. Thanks to committed alumni, allies and friends, our endowment and unrestricted monies in support of student scholarship and leadership programs now exceeds $300,000. GALA’s support for LGBT students reflects a shared history of personal challenges and individual journeys. It is a unique legacy and one that draws us together.”