The Dorothy Binder Scholarship
About the Scholarship
Dr. Dorothy Binder was a faculty member at Saint Xavier University from 1964-1994. She served as director of the Education Center (equivalent to current dean of the School of Education). She initiated the Learning Disabilities Center, later known as STAR Learning Academy, to meet the needs of local children with disabilities and to provide an incubator for graduate students to become special education teachers. Dr. Binder also hired founding faculty and commenced the graduate program in learning disabilities (now the multicategorical special education program). In addition, Dr. Binder inaugurated the continuing education program at Saint Xavier University, with a unique interdisciplinary curriculum to meet the needs of returning adult students.
Dr. Binder was dedicated to excellence*, and she expected a great deal of herself and not much less of her colleagues and students. Dr. Binder was probably most renowned as a remarkable teacher of statistics, a course dreaded by many graduate students and dubbed by Dr, Binder as "sadistics." Yet, Dr. Binder's careful instruction and patient explanation led student after student to successful acquisition of statistical skills.
Not only available during her generous office hours and many additional hours at the University, Dr. Binder regularly invited students to her home for review sessions or additional instruction, where a cup of tea or coffee and homemade Austrian pastries reduced the anxiety of mastering math. Dr. Binder's gracious hospitality* helped students feel comfortable enough to concentrate and learn.
Dr. Binder also reached out to individual students, colleagues, and families in need. For twenty years, Dr. Binder and her family provided Christmas meals and gifts for a family on the west side. Sincere and unadvertised, Dr. Binder encouraged those she helped not to worry about repayment, but rather to "pay it forward" if they were ever in a position to do so.
In acknowledgement of Dr. Binder's assistance in a financially troubled time, one of her colleagues has since paid for students' doctor's appointments, paid certification test fees, and even paid the security deposit and first several months' rent to help a graduate student when she and her young children became suddenly homeless. Dr. Binder believed that the essence of living is giving. The hallmarks of Dr. Binder's life were compassion* and service.*
*The core values of Saint Xavier University, as established and exemplified by the Sisters of Mercy.
Applications are due to the scholarship committee no later than December 15.
The Dr. Dorothy Binder Endowed Graduate Scholarship Committee seeks to honor Dr. Binder by helping an admitted School of Education (except MATL) graduate student who possesses the critical qualities of Dr. Binder, or who has been the recipient of the qualities of Dr. Binder and is cultivating them in response, to finance a part of a graduate education at Saint Xavier University. Past tuition grants have been approximately $1,800.
- Applicants must complete the attached application form (PDF). Complete applications will include the application form, the essay, two letters of recommendation, and a resume. Only complete applications will be reviewed. Applicants must submit a resume.
- Applicants must submit an essay (double-spaced, one to two pages). Please tell the committee about the qualities of Dr. Binder that you possess or have experienced, and want to develop in yourself. Include the plans you have for your work in the field of education. Please also tell the committee about your need for financial assistance.
- Please request that two persons write letters of recommendation for you. One recommendation should be from a faculty member in the School of Education at Saint Xavier University. The other recommendation should be from someone external to the University and who knows your professional or volunteer work related to education. The writers should refer to the qualities noted in the description of Dr. Binder. The letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the address below, postmarked by December 15:
Saint Xavier University
Dr. Binder Scholarship Committee
c/o School of Education
3700 W. 103rd Street
Chicago, IL 60655
*Exact amount of tuition grants depends on available funds from endowments and individual student's account status. Additionally, students may be required to demonstrate financial need in order to qualify.