Richmond Scholars History

The University of Richmond has been awarding full-tuition, merit-based scholarships for decades. In 2000, the University responded to a bold call-to-action in its strategic plan—creating new merit-based scholarships that would expand full-tuition scholarships. Some of these scholarships were endowed, others were funded through annual support.

As a result, students attended Richmond under full-tuition scholarships such as CIGNA, Ethyl, and Oldham. Still more students 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 combined many existing awards to create four designations: Science Scholars, Boatwright Scholars, Oldham Scholars, and Artist Scholars. While all four designations included full tuition scholarship awards and other academic privledges, some also included awards for on-campus food and housing. 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.

In 2017-2018, further review of the Richmond Scholars Program led to adjustments so that all Richmond Scholars receive merit based awards that comprise tuition and on-campus food and housing. The four designations were brought together as one cohesive Richmond Scholar community which includes students across academic disciplines and interest.

The Richmond Scholars awards are funded by the University with the support of several endowments, including the Brockenbrough Family Scholarship, Elizabeth Ramos Dunkum Scholarship, Richard A. Mateer Scholarship, Oldham Scholars, Mildred Crowder Pickels Scholars Program, E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Science Honors Scholarship, Guy A. Ross Scholarship, Minnie Roth Weinstein Memorial Scholars Program, and D. Chris Withers Merit Scholarship.

Today, all students who attended the University under any of the current or former full-tuition scholarship designations are considered 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.