Oliver Hill Scholars

The Oliver Hill Scholar interview and selection cycle for the 23-24 academic year is closed.

The Oliver Hill Scholars program is named after Civil Rights icon Oliver White Hill, Sr., an attorney from Richmond, who was instrumental in arguing legal cases concerning equal rights, voting rights, and employment protection. Hill received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999 in celebration of his contribution to the country.

The Oliver Hill Scholars program is designed for academically accomplished, intellectually curious students who are interested in building a community of learners within a  highly diverse environment. Admission to the program is competitive; selecting students prior to enrollment and only open to students that are eligible to receive a Presidential or Richmond merit based sholarship. During the academic year, Oliver Hill Scholars participate in engaging and culturally stimulating activities, some of which revolve around social justice, transformational leadership, and community service. Below are a few of the signature programs Oliver Hill Scholars participate in:

  • Bi-weekly Scholar Seminars: These seminars serve as a forum to bring our scholars together for dialogue designed to examine various topics that center social justice, civil rights, systemic issues, changemaking, and transformational leadership with a scholarly lens. Each meeting, students will interact with scholars and leaders that have made contributions to our society to bring about change. Attendance to seminars are mandatory for all scholars.
  • Community Service: Scholars engage in community service once each semester to learn more about the community around them and ways they can continue to stay involved beyond our service for a greater impact. Our service is coordinated by the Center for Civic Engagement at UR. 
  • Heritage Speaker Series: In conjunction with the Student Center for Equity and Inclusion, the scholars program will welcome a speaker that centers the history and culture of Black, Asian,Indeginous,and Latinx communities. These events are hosted by scholars and open to UR faculty,staff, and students. 
  • Mentor Network: The Oliver Hill Mentor Network is an optional portion of the program, but pairs scholars with UR alumni that serve as mentors for an acamedic year. Each student is paired with an alum that may share the same passions, hobbies, or career interests and meet monthly to connect. The goal is that each scholar has the opportunity to receive sage advice from a previous Spider and tips on navigating the world. 
  • Personal Advisement: Each scholar will meet with the Program Director and Coordinator twice a semester to serve as additional support helping connect scholars to resources, acclimiate to university life, and guide them towards success.
  • Fall Trip: This trip is optional for scholars as well, but serves as an opportunity for a small group of them to travel and bond together all while being exposed to the arts, history, and culture of a nearby state.