Trailblazing scholarship endowed at UNT


By Rebecca Aguilar

Peacemakers Inc. honored donors, supporters and volunteers who have supported the existence of the Castleberry Peace Institute (CPI) at the University of North Texas. Author and journalist Vivian Castleberry had a vision for peace in the world. In 2010, the institute was established in her name and since then has offered research and education on topics related to conflict resolutions. 

At the reception last week at the First Unitarian Church, Peacemakers President Len Ellis said to preserve Castleberry’s legacy, the organization’s board of directors made the decision to partner with the Castleberry Peace Institute to start the Vivian Castleberry Trailblazer Scholarship Fund. 

Peacemakers Board Member Anita Marcos (left), Norma Rocha Valles and Rebecca Aguilar at the evening reception.
Photo courtesy of Anita Marcos

Peacemakers’ donors helped the institute meet its goal of $100,000 for the scholarship fund when the organization contributed $21,000. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue Vivian’s vision and legacy of creating a more peaceful world,” said Ellis. 

Dr. James Meernik, the director of the Castleberry Peace Institute explained how the scholarship will help students learn, research and promote peace the way Vivian Castleberry envisioned it. Meernik also shared about his travels to Medellin, Colombia where he is working with colleagues at the Pontifical Bolivarian University, which is also establishing its own peace studies institute. 

Vivian Castleberry was the founder of Peacemakers Incorporated and also had a long career as a journalist. She died in October 2017. For more information, visit Castleberry Peace Institute at