The Illini Club of San Diego County has awarded scholarships to University of Illinois students since 1989. Originally, the award was to the student who portrayed Chief Illiniwek to help defray the costs associated with his duties to maintain the image and provide education about Native Americans and the Illini Tradition.
When the symbol of the Chief was retired, the scholarship recipients were then selected by the Club Scholarship Committee from Illini students residing in San Diego County who completed the Club's Scholarship Application.
As requirements changed due to IRS and Foundation regulations, the Club Board considered other options. The decision was made to direct scholarship funds to students at the Chez Veterans Center which is part of the College of Applied Health Sciences. These are military veterans who have served their country and are now enrolled at the University of Illinois pursuing their education. First preference is to those veterans with a combat connected disability. Secondary preference is to veterans with current or previous ties to Southern California.
The terms of the revised Scholarship Program are provided here.