KOKOMO, Ind. – Academic achievement, leadership and campus involvement has earned senior Hannah Bourne the Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award scholarship.
“To be receiving such a prestigious scholarship from such a high-achieving group of alumni means a lot to me,” said Bourne, from Bunker Hill. “I’ve had an incredibly rich experience as an IU Kokomo student. It’s ending with earning two IU degrees, which I know will be the key to unlocking future plans.”
The $1,500 scholarship was presented to her at the annual DASA student luncheon earlier this month.
Bourne began her freshman year at IU Kokomo uncertain what her future held. With guidance from faculty, she discovered a passion for history, political science, and communication, and started forging a path to become a college professor. Along the way, she grew into a campus leader, serving as student body president and starting student organizations.
She has worked for the IU Alumni Association Kokomo Region office for nearly three years.
She was among 15 IU students statewide who received one of the scholarships, which are based on academic achievement, and funded solely by personal donations from the elite group of alumni who have received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award.
The scholarship arrived at the perfect time, Bourne said, noting that because she chose her double major later than most, she needed a fifth year to graduate. The DASA scholarship will assist with those tuition costs.
“I was trying to figure out a way to pay for this year, so this is a huge help financially,” she said, adding that she’s worked on campus and been fortunate to have assistance from family while going to school.
She’s currently applying to graduate school, with plans to become a history professor — a career chosen because of the dedication shown to her by IU Kokomo faculty.
“The faculty and staff here have been absolutely key to me finding myself and developing as a person,” she said. “As a professor, not only would I be teaching and researching something I love, but I’d be able to support and mentor students in the same way I’ve experienced.”
Outside the classroom, she’s not only worked in alumni relations, but served as student body vice president for a year, before being elected president. She’s also traveled extensively, touring sites significant to World War II in Europe with one class, and going to Washington, D.C., Charlotte, North Carolina, Chicago, and Indianapolis with others.
Bourne also earned selection for the President’s Regional Campus Summer Research Fellowship, which allowed her to delve into the archives to assist the university historian as he prepared materials for the IU Bicentennial. She later served a similar internship at IU Kokomo, in preparation for its 75th anniversary, which gave her a unique perspective on the campus.
“I believe there’s not a better way to feel a connection to something than to know about its history,” she said. “Seeing the people who came before me and built this place up made me feel really proud to be a student here.”
She’s had an incredible journey earning her degrees, she said.
“Looking back, I’m kind of amazed to see how far I’ve come, and the relationships I’ve made along the way,” she said. “It’s far greater than I could have imagined. It’s been a unique college experience.”
Benjamin Liechty, director of alumni relations and campus ceremonies, noted that Bourne has represented the campus at many alumni association events, and participated in relaunching the Student Alumni Advisory Council.
“Her knowledge and passion for IU and IU Kokomo made her the ideal recipient of this impressive scholarship,” he said.
Indiana University Kokomo celebrates 75 years as north central Indiana’s choice for higher education.