University honoring Grant through First Citizens Award donations

04.14.2015 Dean Rhodes People, Education

By Laura Hancock

EOU Communications Coordinator

LA GRANDE – Money contributions that benefit Eastern Oregon University students through scholarships are always significant and donations made to the First Citizens Award are particularly meaningful this year.

Jacqueline “Jackie” Leno Grant, former director of Rural and Native American Programs at Eastern Oregon, passed away in April 2014 following a battle with severe acute pancreatitis. She helped establish the First Citizens Award for American Indian and Alaskan Native students and now donations are being made to the fund honoring her memory.

Jay Kenton, interim Eastern Oregon president, contributed $5,000 as part of a matching gift drive the university administration and Foundation Board of Trustees participated in last fall.

“The First Citizens Award is a very special program in memory of a very special person,” Kenton said. “It is an honor for me to contribute to such a noble cause in Jackie’s memory.”

All gifts received to the First Citizens Award may be made in memory and honor of Grant at any time.

In addition to Grant’s long and dedicated career at Eastern Oregon, she also led programs for the Oregon Indian Education Association and Oregon Indian Coalition on Post-Secondary Education. She was an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and played an integral part in the annual Indian Arts Festival and Powwow on campus as the adviser to Speel-Ya, the Native American Student Council.

“Jackie touched many students’ lives throughout her life and career at EOU,” said Shoshoni Walker, current coordinator of the Rural and Native American Program. “She will always continue to positively influence the lives of American Indian students through the First Citizens Award.”

The award encourages eligible students to enroll in and complete a four-year degree from Eastern Oregon. The scholarship is renewable up to five years and has an option to increase in award amount each year the recipient maintains all eligibility requirements.

To learn more about the scholarship, contact Walker at 541-962-3588 or by e-mail at

To learn how to contribute to the fund, contact the Eastern Oregon University Foundation at 541-962-3740 or visit Donations are tax deductible and may be public or anonymous.