AUIS Announces Blake and Bailey Family Endowed Scholarship Fund for Students

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 21:45
Press Release

$25,000 gift creates a permanent funding source to support the education of eligible students at AUIS.

May 10, 2017 (Washington D.C.): The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) today announced the establishment of the Blake and Bailey Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to support the education of eligible students at AUIS. The new scholarship was created through the generosity of a former U.S. Army officer, Francis Stanton Blake, who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service.

The Scholarship Fund will provide support for tuition, fees, and course-related expenses up to $1,000 per year for selected students. The Scholarship is open to students of all undergraduate programs, and will be awarded on an objective and non-discriminatory basis depending on demonstrated financial need and academic merit.  

The announcement was made today at an event hosted in the honor of Mr. Blake by the American University of Iraq Foundation (“Foundation”) in Washington D.C.  The ceremony was attended by Foundation Board members, AUIS President Bruce W. Ferguson, and AUIS alumni, friends and supporters.  The new Scholarship Fund will be maintained at the Foundation, the University’s primary U.S. fundraising affiliate.

In his remarks, Mr. Blake observed: "As an American soldier overseas I fell in love with the country, culture, and people of Iraq. We are honored to be able to provide for their continued success and noble achievements though the endowment of this scholarship fund. Our hope is that through the creation of educational opportunities for future generations of Iraqi leaders and scholars we may in some small way give back to a society that has placed so much faith in the United States of America."

Speaking at the occasion, President Ferguson said, “We are very grateful to the Blake family for their generous support of our students. Donations like this make our mission at AUIS possible. We hope this gift will inspire others to support an institution that is striving to educate the next generation of leaders in Iraq and its Kurdistan Region.

Click here to view the eligibility and selection criteria for the scholarship. 

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About the Donor
Francis Stanton Blake served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his services. He is currently the General Manager for Home Depot Renovation Services in the United States. Blake is a dedicated philanthropist, accomplished entrepreneur, and proud husband and father.

About the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani
Established in 2007, AUIS is an independent, not-for-profit university dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching and research. Its comprehensive liberal arts education develops leaders who make a difference in Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and the wider region.  Reflecting Sulaimani’s location at an international crossroads, the University’s 1,600 students and 240 faculty and staff include Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, Ezidis and Christians, who live and study together in a culture that fosters critical thinking, tolerance, and community involvement.  

About the American University of Iraq Foundation
The Foundation is a US-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a distinguished Board.  It serves as the steward of US private donations raised on behalf of the University. To contribute, please visit the Foundation's gift site.

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For English language and international media, please contact Mehr Zahra, director of communications, at or 964(0)772-339-9305.

For Kurdish and Arabic media requests, please contact Bzhar Boskani, media and public relations adviser, at or 964(0)770-152-1893.