A basketball scholarship brought a star athlete at Sparta High School, Harold Bardo, to Southern Illinois University in 1957. He understands first-hand the importance of financial assistance in higher education.
As he reflects on an association with SIU spanning more than 50 years, Bardo says this scholarship paved the way for him.
“I was fortunate because my parents couldn’t have afforded to pay my tuition,” he says. “Many young people are in that situation today. They are unable to attend college without some kind of assistance or aid. It is sorely needed.”
And now students are afforded an opportunity to receive support through a scholarship named in honor of Bardo, who retired as longtime Director of SIU’s Medical/Dental Education Preparatory (MEDPREP) program in May.
The School of Medicine will award a $10,000 scholarship annually in Bardo’s honor. The award will be presented to a graduate of MEDPREP, a program which strives to provide support to qualified students who are members of underrepresented populations pursuing careers in the health profession. The recipient must also be a graduating senior in the School of Medicine.
Kevin Dorsey, dean of the School of Medicine, established the scholarship because he says MEDPREP graduates often hail from families of lower income, and they absorb additional debt in the process of earning their baccalaureate degree, and subsequently attending medical school. This scholarship will assist recipients by offsetting their debt. He hopes to create an endowment that will foster additional support.
Additionally, Dorsey says it is an appropriate way to honor Bardo, who has a passion for students.
“Harold really cares about these young people and often speaks of their success stories,” Dorsey says. “Under his leadership, close to 1,000 students have graduated from MEDPREP. Harold’s impact can be measured via the multiplier effect when you consider that these graduates proceed to take care of underserved populations. It indicates how Harold has been an enabling force for this institution.”
Bardo, who holds three degrees from SIU, says he appreciates Dorsey and the School of Medicine recognizing him in this fashion. “This is quite an honor. It is gratifying that the dean established an award in my honor that will help our students. I’m sincerely appreciative and plan on contributing to this scholarship fund as well.”
If you would like to contribute to the scholarship named in honor of Dr. Harold Bardo, please call Director of Development Pat Moline at 618/453-4900.