Northeastern welcomes the opportunity to celebrate and amplify the legacy of Cyrus of Persia through this bold scholarship initiative. Why?

Established more than 150 years ago, Northeastern is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution and Minority Serving Institution and one of the most diverse universities in the country. The mosaic of ethnicities, cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds and lived experiences —not only from within our student body but also our faculty, staff and administrators—allows students of all backgrounds an opportunity to build their intellectual engagement, citizenship, and cultural understanding, as well as to hone their abilities in critical thinking and problem solving.

We recognize that the values of inclusivity, multiculturalism and opportunity (or equity, diversity and inclusion) were the sociopolitical cornerstone of the Persian king’s rule over his vast empire. Teaching the history of Cyrus and the values he expressed more than 2,500 years ago is therefore perfectly aligned with our University’s strategic plan and service today.

Donors to this groundbreaking initiative actively affirm that education can and ought to be accessible for all, including promising students in financial need, and that the lessons of the Persian king still have an active role to play in informing the next generation of leaders.

The Persian/Iranian-American community across the United States has demonstrated its strong commitment to philanthropy and education in a variety of ways. We are humbled and honored that many have chosen Northeastern Illinois University to establish the world’s first Cyrus of Persia Scholarship.