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Collaborative Effort by Greek Organizations, Ferris Staff Establish, Activate Malik Kingsby Scholarship Endowment


Among the success stories from Ferris State University’s 2021 One Day For Dawgs fundraising efforts was the creation and inauguration of the Malik Kingsby Scholarship Endowment. A collaborative effort by Student Affairs leadership, the university’s Advancement department, and the winners of Ferris’ Greek Week competition saw the campaign reach the activation threshold for the scholarship in weeks after Kingsby’s death.

Dean of Student Life Joy Pulsifer said Kingsby was an involved and beloved student leader.

“Malik was a student employee in our LGBTQ+ Resource Center and at Williams Auditorium, the president of the Art History Club, and a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, who held every role on their executive board, at one time or another,” Pulsifer said. “This collaboration will honor and continue the legacy he created in every space he entered, of love and acceptance, by specifically providing financial support in his name to students who have faced racism and homophobia or transphobia.” 

Working closely with Kingsby in the center, LGBTQ+ Resource Center Coordinator Sarah Doherty said Malik’s motivations included planning and running outreach efforts and programs to support, celebrate, and educate the larger Ferris community about same gender loving and Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ Black and Indigenous people and people of color.

“He and I talked a lot, in the years that he worked with me, about what FSU needed to increase opportunities for QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous People of Color) students and help them thrive,” Doherty said. “We planned to work on establishing a scholarship for students whose barriers to education include both racism and either heterosexism or cissexism. Malik and I were planning to start fundraising for a scholarship this spring. In the aftermath of his death, I reached out to our One Day For Dawgs team, as well as some supporters of the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, to explore the possibility of establishing a scholarship in his memory.”

Advancement Officer Kristine Workman said credit goes to the Student Affairs staff and its contacts regarding the success this campaign enjoyed.

It was absolutely a pleasure working with Sarah and Joy to establish this scholarship and honor Malik Kingsby by creating a legacy in his name,” Workman said. “Their securing an anonymous donor to seed the endowment made it possible to award the scholarship immediately, which was one of the high points of One Day for Dawgs. The kindness of their support team and all other donors is heartwarming.”

Doherty acknowledged a groundswell of support that developed once she let peers know of their intentions.

“I want to thank everyone who came together to raise the funds, who shared pictures of him for the fundraiser, students, faculty, and staff who knew Malik or who felt his loss, as well as those who signed up to be fundraisers and others who shared our social media posts, along with Ferris Greek community members who raised money in the Greek Week penny wars,” Doherty said. “That last contribution, raised during Greek Week, meant more than $3,000 for the cause. I also contacted and got support from more than a few of my friends and colleagues from LGBTQIA+ communities all over the country who care about opportunities for QTBIPOC students.”

The Ferris Futures Scholarship Challenge match, a match from the anonymous donor and the donated funds, produced more than $35,000 for the endowment, well beyond the $25,000 required to award scholarshipsAdditional gifts to the endowment are welcomed, and will allow the Malik Kingsby Endowed Scholarship to support more than one student per year. Doherty said donors should specify their intention to support the Kingsby Scholarship Endowment, where the first recipient would be identified and receive their support this summer.

“Applications for the scholarship award for 2021-22 are open through June 10, and then students can apply for the scholarship every year in December-January for the following academic year,” Doherty said. “Malik did so much for LGBTQIA+ students of color and brought so much warmth and joy to the Ferris community while he was with us, and I think he’d like this tribute to his work and his life.”