Kevin Morrison, 21, is a junior actuarial science major at the university’s Fox School of Business. The $1,000 scholarship will be presented to the Bensalem native April 29 at the ConnX event, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Adventure Aquarium, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, N.J.
Morrison, who is openly gay, is an active member of Temple’s chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, a risk-management and insurance professional fraternity. Morrison said he has also attended Queer Student Union meetings, where he learned about the scholarship.
Morrison came out at age 13 and said the process was gradual.
“When I was a freshman in high school, I started telling a few friends,” he said. “By the time I graduated, teachers knew and had no problem at all. It wasn’t just one moment; it was just years of telling more people and being open about it.”
Although Morrison commutes to campus, he said he has been able to see Temple’s inclusive campus climate for LGBT students, faculty and staff.
“I think it is a very open community in terms of accepting LGBT people,” he said. “I know the Queer Student Union is very active on campus. I’ve never seen anything negative.”
Morrison said like Temple, IBA fosters an environment where LGBT people can feel welcomed, further motivating his decision to apply for the scholarship.
“I appreciate what they are trying to do,” he said. “IBA makes the business environment more friendly for the LGBT community. They are actually making a difference.”
Morrison hopes to graduate this fall and plans to pursue a career in health insurance, aiming to help people gain access to affordable and quality health care.
“I would someday like to be in a position where I could lead health-insurance work in some regard, whether that means being involved in a health organization of some sort,” he said. “I want to look at how health insurance is brought to people. I want to make it more fair, affordable and sustainable.”
Applicants for the IBA/DVLF scholarship are asked to write an essay on their future goals and how they will help the LGBT community through them.
“I wrote about how I think it is important to make sure the LGBT community is heard, especially in policy changes,” Morrison said. “So much has been changing, especially in sharing benefits with same-sex couples. We need to make sure people from our community are there to see change happen.”
Morrison said the Philadelphia LGBT community has shown him the value of community involvement.
“People have been very open and accepting of each other,” he said. “It is something unique to the city — you see all different kinds of people in our community and nobody is left out.”