Couple creates a $250,000 endowment for ISU study abroad scholarships

Sandy Senior-Dauer’s first trip abroad, to England and France, changed her life.

Posted: Oct 20, 2020 2:28 PM

Sandy Senior-Dauer’s first trip abroad, to England and France, changed her life. After graduating from Indiana State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social studies, Senior-Dauer found her passion for travel and never looked back.

“I never wanted to spend free time doing much else,” Senior-Dauer said. “Experiencing is vital to learning.”

Senior-Dauer and her husband, Keith Dauer, have traveled to more than 95 countries. Both served as educators who taught social studies at the college and secondary levels for more than three decades.

They are sharing their eagerness for exploration with a $250,000 gift commitment to create the Sandy Senior-Dauer and Keith Dauer Department of History Study-Abroad Scholarship.

“Keith and I hope that a number of ISU students will be able to travel each year and follow their dreams,” Senior-Dauer said. “Travel broadens perspectives, challenges preconceived notions and brings amazing serendipities. We want to help students get an early start in experiencing a broader appreciation of the world while spreading understanding and respect for American culture and values.”

The scholarship endowment will support students and faculty in the Department of History, providing support for academic and cultural learning experiences through travel.

“Study abroad is central to the College of Arts and Sciences, and remains one of our three strategic priorities,” said Christopher Olsen, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Among our students who study abroad, history majors are some of the most frequent. They are inherently interested in world cultures, and international, cultural literacy is central to the curriculum and the discipline. This incredibly generous gift will allow us to support many more students to have these life-changing experiences. We’re so grateful, and so excited, to put this gift into action.”

Beginning in 2021, the Dauers’ gift will help support students participating in traditional semester-long study-abroad programs, faculty-led trips abroad, and other short-term domestic and international study trips. The scholarship is available to students pursing majors or minors in History, African and African American Studies, and Social Studies Education.

“Going abroad is a great adventure,” said Steve Stofferahn, chair of ISU’s Department of History. “It’s vitally important for students of history to travel as widely as they can. We want our graduates to be the ones their future co-workers rely on to get to the heart of a problem and articulate a solution. Studying abroad, especially for a sustained period of time, not only broadens your sense of perspective and context, but also connects you to the past through special spaces and places. That can make all the difference in the world when studying history.”

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