Philanthropist Bruce Shuck has provided Indiana University a very notable first. The Bruce Shuck Family Native American Scholarship is the first designated for Native students. This scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need and recently expanded from an exclusively Bloomington-centric scholarship to include IU Kokomo, where Shuck earned his master’s degree. Shuck established the scholarship in 2015.
Much of the inspiration for this scholarship came from two places. First, from Shucks’ time as a high school guidance counselor working with Native students and second, from his family history.
“Many of the students were going through a culture shock coming from reservations,” Shuck said. “And it was helpful for them to go to someone they could trust.” During this time, Shuck realized the difficultly Native students had, both in achieving tribal affiliation and moving into higher education.
Shuck eventually took a DNA test in 2020—which revealed native ancestry on both his parents’ sides—after growing curious about his possible native heritage. “My parents had always spoken of some Native heritage, but I didn’t know how much until the test, and I started looking into it more.”
Shuck recognizes the importance of the scholarship and its assistance to Native students. He hopes to inspire others who care about Native American students to be involved and help support scholarships for students across the IU system.
“I am so grateful I have some resources to help Native students,” Shuck said. “It’s something I can contribute to and benefit Native student lives while paying tribute and honoring a part of my family heritage.”