CLEMSON – The Clemson Alumni Society for Equality (CASE) has started an endowment to award scholarships to Clemson University students who are supportive and involved in LGBTQ equality efforts.

The scholarship is the first of its kind in South Carolina, said Brian Cave of Austin, Texas, president of CASE.

“We want to recognize students on campus who have been working to make Clemson a better place for LGBTQ students,” said Cave, who graduated from Clemson in 1997. “A lot of these students could choose to go to a school where they don’t have to do this kind of work. We want to reward them for choosing Clemson and for helping make Clemson a more welcoming place for all students.”

The recipient of the scholarship is determined by Clemson’s financial aid office, but the criteria, which was set by CASE, states that the student must demonstrate involvement in LGBTQ equality work on campus through participating in student organizations and other efforts, such as Clemson’s new LGBTQ Task Force.

“It is exciting to be part of an alumni group that is working to celebrate the diversity of our Clemson family. I am especially proud that we can recognize students who are making a difference on the Clemson campus,” said Eddie Case of Charlotte, vice president of CASE. “Participating in CASE and contributing to the scholarship endowment gives us a chance to continue the Clemson tradition of being a leader in higher education in South Carolina and throughout the Southeast.”

The fund currently provides one student per year with a $500 scholarship, but Cave said the group hopes to increase both the endowment and the amount awarded.

CASE was chartered in 2009 and is Clemson’s official alumni affinity group for LGBTQ alumni and allies.

Clemson University will celebrate National Coming Out Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Carillon Garden. The event will feature student organizations and university departments dedicated to LGBTQ equality.

Donations for the CASE scholarship may be made online