Jim Greenwood, a wheelchair-using alumnus of Southern Illinois University, has left a surprising gift to show his gratitude for his alma mater’s long history of accessibility. The Jim and Martha Greenwood Fund will provide $1.3 million dollars in scholarships for SIU students with disabilities who are interested in pursuing degrees in science and engineering.
“The Greenwoods left a powerful legacy by supporting the institution that welcomed him in the ’60s, well before the Americans with Disabilities Act required campuses to be accessible,” says SIU Chancellor Rita Cheng. “We couldn’t be prouder or more grateful that he and Martha are making it possible for other students with disabilities to attend SIU.”
Jim Greenwood, a Maine native who came to the university in 1961, chose SIU because it was one of the few schools in the country that assisted and accommodated student with disabilities. After receiving his master’s from the university, he worked at IBM for 29 years. Greenwood served as the company’s regional manager for college recruiting in Atlanta. He died in 2009 and his wife Martha died last January.
The first scholarships will be awarded to students in the Fall of 2014.