Pride at Lindner continues fundraising efforts for endowment

LGBTQ+ organization needs support for the Pride at Lindner Scholarship and Programming Fund

A year after launching a campaign to establish a first-of-its-kind endowed scholarship, Pride at Lindner (PaL) is continuing its fundraising drive as Coming Out Week 2022 approaches.

During the LGBTQ+ organization’s 2021 Coming Out Week, PaL raised $8,275 of its $10,000 goal for the Pride at Lindner Scholarship and Programming Fund. The fundraising continues during this year’s Coming Out Week, slated for Oct. 10-14. National Coming Out Day is Oct. 11.

PaL President Aaron Bialon, BBA ’23, recently became PaL’s president after serving as philanthropy chair in 2021-22.

“I think [the Scholarship and Programming Fund] means that we are making incredible progress as an organization and as a university, knowing that we will be endowing one of the first LGBTQ+ specific scholarships,” said Bialon, an international business and marketing double major. “We are so proud to be able to provide a scholarship for LGBTQ+ students, so they can focus less on their financial situations and more on being able to both learn and find a community for themselves in a new environment.”


From left to right: Pride at Lindner President Aaron Bialon, plus PaL members Leah Searcy and Cassidy Hook, at the 2022 HRC Greater Cincinnati Dinner. Photo courtesy of Aaron Bialon.

According to Nadia Ibrahim-Taney, PaL adviser and an adjunct management professor at Lindner, the financial challenges and needs of PaL members have not changed over the past year.

“If anything, students need support now more than ever due in part to rising inflation, increasing rent costs and minimal family assistance or contribution,” Ibrahim-Taney said. “We see this fund making a meaningful impact for current and future LGBTQ+ students and are very proud that we get the honor of creating this legacy fund for years to come.”


Pride at Lindner advisers Nadia Ibrahim-Taney (left) and Melissa Newman, PhD. Photo courtesy of Melissa Newman.

LGBTQ adults ages 18 to 40 with federal student loans owe an average of $34,000 in federal loan and $47,500 in total student debt, according to the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute. Furthermore, LGBTQ adults are more likely to possess federal student loans than non-LGBTQ adults (35% vs. 23%), even when factoring differences in age composition of the two groups.

Melissa Newman, PhD, PaL adviser and management associate professor-educator, said knowing that Lindner and UC are at the “forefront of this type of initiative” makes the endowment drive even more fulfilling. 

“When we set out to do this, it wasn’t to be trailblazers, but rather to fill a need that Nadia and I recognized for our LGBTQ+ student population," Newman said.

PaL’s Coming Out Week 2022 events are highlighted by Loud and Proud on the Lawn, set for Oct. 14 from 3 to 8 p.m. on Sigma Sigma Commons adjacent to the Carl H. Lindner College of Business. 

The occasion features activities for the entire UC community, and outside LGBTQ+ organizations will be present to provide resources for students. Other Coming Out Week happenings include philanthropic events and a movie night.

“It’s amazing the number of hours, as well as the thought and energy that goes into making this event possible each year,” said Ibrahim-Taney. “Pride at Lindner students are the driving force behind bringing the UC community together for Coming Out Week with Loud and Proud on the Lawn, and it is a testament to their skills, abilities, discipline and passion for the LGBTQ+ community that they are able to effectively manage this event whilst also completing co-op or academic studies.”

I think [the Scholarship and Programming Fund] means that we are making incredible progress as an organization and as a university, knowing that we will be endowing one of the first LGBTQ+ specific scholarships.

Pride at Lindner President Aaron Bialon

Bialon noted that PaL has a pair of regularly scheduled non-Coming Out Week activities: Community and Coffee, and Cultures United by Pride.

“Community and Coffee is a great way for queer students and allies to get together a couple of times a month and talk about issues in the community, play games and just spend time with other members,” Bialon said. “Cultures United by Pride is a new initiative which aims to create a community for queer people of color to discuss topics specifically regarding their community.”

Featured image: UC students enjoy Pride at Lindner’s Loud and Proud on the Lawn in fall 2021. Photo by Danielle Lawrence.

Donate to the Pride at Lindner Scholarship and Programming Fund

Interested in supporting a historic endowment and programming for Pride at Lindner? Visit the organization's University of Cincinnati Foundation donation page for more information and donation instructions.

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