Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


February 9, 2002 - Issue 54


pictograph divider


Cherokee Wins Gates Scholarship

credits:Kim Brown
Brandon Morrell had no idea Bill Gates would choose him.

A freshman at the University of Tulsa, Morrell had already received five scholarships to attend college. He planned to attend the University of Oklahoma, but he switched to TU at the last minute to stay close to home in Berryhill.

"I didn't want to live on campus," he said of OU's policy that all freshmen live on campus their first year. "I'm really involved with my church."

But the bills to attend the private university would begin piling up, and Morrell quickly applied for and received student loans. His big surprise came last October.

Morrell was informed that he was one of the Gates Millennium Scholars, a group of 1,000 incoming freshmen selected nationally to receive a scholarship from a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The scholarship fund was established in 1999 to provide for outstanding African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American students.

Scholars may earn their undergraduate degrees in any area of choice and may go on to earn their master's or doctorate degrees in the fields of mathematics, science, engineering, education or library science. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation selected these fields to fill a void in areas where ethnic and racial groups are believed to be under-represented.

Morrell, who is of Cherokee heritage, applied for the scholarship last spring with other scholarships, but he didn't believe that a student from a smaller high school like Berryhill would make the cut.

"With a graduating class of 80, I didn't expect much," he said.

Now his worries about paying for college are gone. The management information systems bachelor's degree from TU will become an affordable reality to Morrell.

The Gates scholarship will cover the last-dollar amount of his tuition after the other scholarships are used, including graduate school, where he plans to eventually earn both master's and doctoral degrees in education.

The foundation flew Morrell to Washington, D.C. in early November for a leadership conference with some 250 of the other Millennium Scholars. One thing immediately stood out for him.

"Of the minorities there, Native Americans were the minority," he said.

Morrell said an explanation could be that many students who might be eligible to apply do not simply because they don't know they can.

His advice to other high school students is to keep track of high school activities at an early stage. Keeping a college resume is a good start, he said.

To find out more, call 1-877-690-4677 or visit the Web site at

pictograph divider


Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


Canku Ota Logo


Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Thank You