For students attracted to careers in the health sciences, human service, or visual arts, the Pride Foundation, an LGBT philanthropic foundation headquartered in the Pacific Northwest, is pleased to offer the Bendiner-Morgenson scholarship. Created in 2001, this scholarship honors the memory of Bill Bendiner, Doug Morgenson’s partner of 23 years.

Who is Bill Bendiner?

Bendiner and Morgenson learned about the Pride Foundation in the 1980s, and Bendiner subsequently helped the group establish a donor database. The two partners were excited about the organization’s work and committed themselves to support it. Founded in 1985, the Pride Foundation has issued over $8 million in grants and over $1.65 million to the more than 50 scholarships it manages. The group’s core belief is that every person should be able to live safely, openly, and genuinely wherever they call home. The two men felt a personal connection to the organization.

When Bendiner died from HIV in 2001, Morgenson wanted his partner’s legacy to continue as a source of support for other LGBT youths. He used some of his insurance proceeds to fund the Bendiner-Morgenson scholarship. Morgenson also wanted to help other gay youths who felt isolated, like he did growing up in the Midwest. His goal with the scholarship is to help others lead happy and productive lives both personally and professionally. While the scholarship provides money to help these youth, Morgenson’s primary goal is to communicate that they are not alone. He is proud of the profound social changes and acceptance over the past 20-30 years, but more needs to be done. He believes that this scholarship through the Pride Foundation will support this goal. The Bendiner-Morgenson scholarship through the Pride Foundation will help students connect to a growing supportive community that provides affirmation, resources, and encouragement. 

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