Scholarship honors Oneida WWI hero

Scholarship honors Oneida WWI hero

An endowed scholarship named for Dr. Josiah A. Powless, Med 1904, will support the recruitment and retention of Native American and under-represented minority students at Marquette. Donors gave $67,500 for the scholarship and the university will continue fundraising to support Native American students.

Powless was a World War I hero of the Oneida Nation and the first Oneida graduate from Marquette College, which became Marquette University.

Native American students, including Emily Sexton, a junior in the College of Business Administration, celebrated the university’s move to inaugurate this scholarship. Sexton calls it a meaningful step toward creating an enhanced experience and environment at Marquette for more students. “This scholarship will signal to potential Native students that their experiences and cultural background are highly valued here,” she says. “It shows that their uniqueness is not just another box to check on an application. Rather, their presence will be celebrated and supported as they explore all that Marquette has to offer.”

The scholarship was announced at a homecoming celebration for Marquette’s Native American alumni held during Mission Week 2016. Members of the Powless family attended the historic event with Oneida Nation Chairwoman Cristina Danforth. A Marquette eagle staff was created and conferred on current Native American student leadership at the event. The staff is a revered cultural symbol and tradition in Native American communities throughout North America. Here it represents the intergenerational connection of past and future accomplishments of Native American students and alumni. — CP


  1. I read with interest Clare Peterson’s story on page 11 announcing a scholarship honoring Doctor Josiah Powless. The story twice mentioned that Dr. Powless was a World War hero, but gave the reader no insight as to why Doctor Powless was posthumously cited for heroism. Providing a link to an online article on Dr. Powless’ life ( would have provided a more complete and informative story.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seven + four =