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Past Scholar Designations

The University of Richmond has been awarding students full-tuition, merit-based scholarships for decades. In 2000, the University responded to a bold call-to-action in its strategic plan—creating 60 new merit-based scholarships that would mean one in every 15 students who applied for merit-based aid would receive a full-tuition scholarship.

As a result, many students attended Richmond under scholarships such as CIGNA, Ethyl, and Oldham. Still more students, who didn’t qualify for full-tuition scholarships, were awarded University Scholarships, receiving half-tuition awards and special academic privileges.

During the 2004–2005 academic year, a committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students was charged with reexamining Richmond’s scholarship programs and creating one cohesive program that built on the strengths of all the separate scholarship programs that had emerged over time. The result was the Richmond Scholars Program—a single scholarship program that recognizes exceptionally gifted students with a full-tuition scholarship, other academic privileges, and the close mentorship that comes with being part of a small and select group of students.

Under the Richmond Scholars umbrella, the committee created four special designations, recognizing students in separate categories based on their academic interests and goals.

The Ethyl Scholarship became the Richmond Scholars Program’s Science Scholarship. The number of half-tuition University Scholarships was reduced to create the Richmond Scholars Program’s Boatwright Scholarship—a full-tuition award. The CIGNA Scholarship became the Oliver Hill Scholarship, which was later moved under the Office of Multicultural Affairs. The Oliver Hill Scholarship is currently administered by that office and all Richmond Scholar finalists are eligible to apply to participate in the program. The Oldham Scholarship remained as it was but was folded into the Richmond Scholars Program. Lastly, the committee created an Artist Scholar designation within the Richmond Scholars Program, giving students who plan to study the visual and performing arts the opportunity to compete for merit-based, academic awards.

Today, the Richmond Scholars program considers students who attended the University under former full-tuition scholarship designations to be Richmond Scholar alumni. Graduates are invited to participate in all Richmond Scholar alumni programming and are encouraged to keep in touch with the staff in the Richmond Scholars office.