Enrichment Education

Student raises more than $70K to start women’s scholarship in response to professor’s viral remarks

Story at a glance

  • Ally Orr, a senior at Boise State University, raised more than $70,000 to establish the Women in STEM, Medicine and Law Scholarship.
  • Orr was inspired to do so after viewing a viral video of one of the university’s professors, Scott Yenor, saying “every effort must be made not to recruit women into engineering” in a speech at the annual National Conservatism Conference.
  • The scholarship will be awarded annually to a woman studying in these fields, beginning this fall.

A student at Boise State University in Idaho has raised more than $70,000 to begin a scholarship program for women in engineering, law and medicine in response to one of the university’s professor’s saying women shouldn’t be recruited in those fields. 

Ally Orr, a senior, created a GoFundMe to fund and establish the Women in STEM, Medicine and Law Scholarship at Boise State University, which will be awarded annually to a woman studying in these fields beginning this fall. 

“I never want a girl to look online and say, ‘Oh look, a professor who teaches in higher education says I should stay out of STEM, medicine and law,'” Orr told “Good Morning America.” “They should see the scholarship and see that 500-plus donors said, ‘No, I will fund you if you want to go into these areas of study.'” 

Orr started the GoFundMe in early December after viewing a viral video of one of the university’s professors making anti-feminist comments in a November speech at the annual National Conservatism Conference. 

“Our feminist culture leads us to want less male achievement. Their excellence, after all, creates inequities. That’s a shame. That denial of reality has to stop,” Scott Yenor, a Boise State professor of political philosophy, said. “Every effort must be made not to recruit women into engineering, but rather to recruit and demand more of men to become engineers. Ditto for [medical] school and the law and every trade. Efforts should be redoubled to encourage more men to enter the medical field, space exploration, mining endeavors and every other high-end and even low-end profession.”


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After viewing the video, Orr told “GMA” she became angry.  

“I thought with the little that I can control about the situation, at least I can help the people that he’s hurting, and those are the women at Boise State,” Orr said. 

Orr went on to set up the GoFundMe to fund the scholarship, emailing its link to more than 600 professors, faculty and staff. 

“I hope this scholarship shows women that there is support and you’re needed.” Orr said, adding, “Everyone needs to have the same opportunities and we need all ideas and all opportunities and all experiences in every field.” 

The university hasn’t disclosed if Yenor faced disciplinary action due to his comments, however, university spokesperson Mike Sharp has said the school welcomes and supports the scholarship and its mission. 

“Boise State supports student scholarships and is grateful for Ally’s efforts to coordinate and promote women in STEM through the creation of the newly established scholarship,” Sharp told “GMA” in a statement. “The university is thrilled with the outpouring of support from our community, including Ally, and the financial commitment of our donors who have given to such an important and critical effort.” 

Changing America has reached out to Yenor with a request for comment. 


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