Pepperdine University, a California college affiliated with the Church of Christ, announced Tuesday that it would begin accepting applications for a scholarship to be awarded to students "whose academic or personal involvement has demonstrated a commitment to the health of the LGBT community," according to a press release.
Named the "Frank James 'Buddy' Vinci and George B. Ellsworth Scholarship," the need-based scholarship will be awarded to students who have demonstrated their commitment to the betterment of the LGBT community, according to the release. Administrators awarding the scholarship will seek candidates who emphasize "actual service, volunteerism, or extra-curricular activities" dedicated to improving the mental or physical health of the LGBT community.
This signals a potential change in course for the Malibu, Calif., university, which has a reputation for being a conservative and unfriendly to LGBT students. Pepperdine has come under fire by LGBT activists in recent years, as a student-led Gay-Straight Alliance seeking official recognition was repeatedly rejected by university administrators who told students the club "is not supportive of the university's traditional Christian teachings regarding homosexuality."
Pepperdine will accept applications for the scholarship through March 31, which happens to be Easter Sunday.