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Group Pledges $330,000 for SHRM Foundation Scholarships

By SHRM Online staff  4/16/2009
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J.J. Keller Foundation Inc. has pledged $330,000 to underwrite the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation Scholarship Program through 2011.

One hundred scholarships are awarded annually through the SHRM Foundation; the program is nine years old.

The SHRM Foundation created the program to support SHRM members pursuing a college degree or professional certification, which the J.J. Keller Foundation Inc. has a history of supporting. In 2008, it donated $100,000 to cover the year’s scholarship program.

The late John J. “Jack” Keller started a one-person transportation consulting business in Neenah, Wis., with his wife Ethel in 1953.  In 1991, he created the philanthropic J.J. Keller Foundation Inc. to celebrate his wife’s 71st birthday.

“The giving tradition of our family, which is carried out through the J.J. Keller Foundation, is something that we are extremely proud of,” said Robert Keller, president of the J.J. Keller Foundation Board of Directors, in a prepared statement.

“This particular opportunity,” he added, “allows us to reach outside of our local community and impact individuals and companies nationwide through our lifelong learning initiative.”

Marne Keller-Krikava, a J.J. Keller Foundation board member who helped orchestrate the collaboration, noted the board’s support of lifelong learning.

“Assisting HR professionals benefits individuals and ultimately benefits the entire workplace,” she said in a statement.

Forty academic and 60 certification scholarships will be funded through the donation during 2009. The scholarships are open to professional, general and associate members of SHRM; the scholarships may be applied to online learning, distance learning, or full- or part-time programs at accredited institutions.

The deadline is July 15, 2009; winners will be notified by Oct. 30, 2009.

A new online application process is being introduced in 2009; more information on the scholarship program can be found at

SHRM volunteer committees will coordinate the judging and distribution of scholarships, which will be awarded in five regions of the United States. Eight academic and 12 certification scholarships will be awarded per region. Those five regions are:

  • Northeast
  • Southeast; includes the former Caribbean Atlantic region
  • North Central
  • Southwest Central
  • Pacific West; includes the former Asia-Pacific region

 “We are pleased and honored that the J.J. Keller Foundation has agreed to partner with the SHRM Foundation for the next three years,” said Lyle Hanna, chair of the SHRM Foundation Board of Directors, in a statement.

“Providing scholarships is a tangible investment in the HR profession. In today’s challenging economy, this program is more important than ever.”

Applicants for one of the $1,375 academic scholarships must be national SHRM members pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree in HR or a related field.

Applicants for the $750 certification scholarships must be SHRM members pursuing professional certification. Affiliated SHRM chapters and state councils also may apply for the certification scholarships; funds must be used to pay for the organizing of local certification preparation programs for the SPHR, GPHR, PHR, PHR-CA and SPHR-CA. The latter two are California-specific certifications.

The SHRM Foundation’s scholarship program is administered in partnership with SHRM.
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