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September 26, 2014

Satiric Swipe at Miss America Aids Women's Scholarship Group

A Chicago-based nonprofit that provides education assistance to budding women engineers got what it calls a "John Oliver bounce" after being briefly mentioned Sunday during the comedian's HBO news satire show Sunday, reports the Chicago Tribune.

In an extended segment on "Last Week Tonight," Mr. Oliver questioned the Miss America Organization's claim that it spends some $45-million in scholarships for women, citing state and federal tax filings he said show the beauty pageant group spends far less. During the diatribe, he named and displayed the Web addresses of several other groups that fund scholarships for women, including the Society of Women Engineers.

In the next two days, the society received about $25,000 in donations, 15 percent of what it expects in individual gifts in a full year, said Kelly Janowski, a spokeswoman for the organization. All of the money will go to the society's scholarship fund. The society awarded $721,000 in financial aid in the most recent fiscal year to women pursuing careers in engineering.