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IUPUI's first 'Through Their Eyes Memorial Scholarship' recipient is Pike High School graduate

Scholarship recipient Nona Duncan's great-great-grandfather built a home on Minerva Street.
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Posted at 10:57 AM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 11:01:14-04

INDIANAPOLIS — With the start of a new semester right around the corner, IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis) announced its first recipient of a scholarship created for descendants of former residents of the Ransom Place and Indiana Avenue communities.

The "Through Her Eyes Memorial Scholarship" was first announced in October. It was created to help undergraduate students with families who were displaced by the development of IUPUI's campus starting in the 1970s.

Nona Duncan, a Pike High School Graduate, is the inaugural recipient of the $15,000 scholarship, IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar announced on Wednesday.

Duncan's family resided in a neighborhood where IUPUI now sits, dating back to the 1890s. Her great-great-grandfather built a home on Minerva Street, where, according to Duncan, her family had lived until the campus' expansion.

According to IUPUI's Department of Anthropology, Minerva Street completely disappeared from the city directory in 1981. Where Minerva Street once was is now IUPUI's University Tower.

"On behalf of the IUPUI campus, I am delighted to welcome Nona Duncan as a member of the 2021 freshman class and the inaugural recipient of the Through Their Eyes Memorial Scholarship," Paydar stated in a release. "This scholarship was designed to recognize the individuals and families who once built their lives in this neighborhood. We as a campus continue to look for ways to tell their stories and pay our respects as we live, work and study at IUPUI."

Duncan learned of the scholarship from her aunt, who IUPUI says studies their family's genealogy. She is enrolled for her freshman year at IUPUI this fall and plans to study business.

The Through Her Eye Memorial Scholarship is one of five initiatives the Indianapolis campus is taking to support and strengthen the local Black community. Others include the introduction of the "White Racial Literacy Project," the establishment of a new center for Africana Studies and Culture through its Liberal Arts program, and anti-bias training for all leadership search committees.