Thomas Jefferson envisioned an educated citizenry as the cornerstone of democracy. Support to need-based scholarships helps attract the most talented, hardworking students to the University regardless of their financial circumstances.
In February 2014, John Griffin, a 1985 graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce, generously provided a $4 million challenge grant to support scholarships and financial aid. Every dollar raised will be matched one-to-one. The first $1 million of the Griffin Challenge has been matched, with the resulting $2 million launching the Blue Ridge Scholarships program. The first class of Blue Ridge Scholars entered in fall 2014.
Thousands of students were considered for this inaugural group of Blue Ridge Scholars. Their intellectual promise, contributions to their communities, and sheer talents stood out among their peers. The Blue Ridge Scholars are joining a community of innovative thinkers who are passionate about pursuing new knowledge. The scholarship will allow each scholar to thrive throughout his or her time at the University. The scholarship will be renewed annually for four years as long as the students remain in good academic standing and continue to qualify for need-based financial aid.
An event is being planned to commemorate the achievements of the first class of Blue Ridge Scholars.