Oliver Hill Scholar Signature Programs

See below a summary of the programs that together create the Oliver Hill Scholar experience. While some of them are optional, each program plays a significant role in our scholars' development. 
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  • Seminar Series

    Students are expected to actively engage in the  seminar series. Through this series, Oliver Hill Scholars learn about ways to maximize their success on campus, hone their leadership skills, and dialogue about current issues impacting our society both in Richmond and globally. Program content is student-generated and frequently student-led. The seminar sessions are held on a bi-weekly basis on Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30pm.

     Scholars may find a lively discussion about environmental pollution or politics during one session, and strategies to help minimize stress in another session. These gatherings help further the bond formed among the Oliver Hill Scholars and facilitate their long and lasting friendships.

  • Scholar Bonding & Development

    The Oliver Hill Scholars program is unique in that it focuses on the ability to build community amongst eachother. Each year scholars elect two representatives from each class to come together and plan additional social opportunities for our scholars giving them a chance to get to know each other, talk more about their passions or interests, as well as share other things they are involved in around campus. This could be organizing a group visit to the dining hall to share a meal together or a movie night in the Commons. We know these connections are extremely important in keeping scholars engaged and invested in each other’s growth and well-being. 

  • Mentor Network-Optional

    The Mentor Network is an optional opoortunity for our Oliver Hill Scholars and the connections established through this program are pivotal in helping students define their future and learn about important internship opportunities.

     Through the network, participants are paired with a UR Alum who has dedicated time to helping guide our scholars through career advice, sharing lived experiences, or connecting with them in other ways that are meaningful to our scholars’ growth. 

    One recent scholar stated that "the mentor network is my favorite part about the program. This program has put me in touch with a member of the Foreign Service, which I hope to one day be a part of. So, I now have access to information and mentorship that I didn’t before. Through my mentor, a Foreign Service Officer in the State Department, I’ve made important career decisions and gained insight as to how to follow my dream of working in the Foreign Service."

    Charlotte Bednarski, Class of 2020

  • Community Service

    Each semester Oliver Hill Scholars participate in a community service activity that supports the local Richmond population. Whether providing words of encouragement to area youngsters about the value of a college education or helping the elderly secure shelter, Oliver Hill Scholars routinely report their personal satisfaction and fulfillment after investing their time in bettering the lives of others. The Oliver Hill Scholars program also sponsors a weekend trip to a neighboring city, during which scholars learn about the city, tour museums and other places of interest, and take advantage of cultural events. This, too, provides an occasion for wonderful fellowship and discovery.

    Hear from one scholar’s takeaway from the service opportunity through the Oliver Hill Scholars program:

    "Our big focus is building community. I feel a strong love for the program because of how I connected I feel to the people in it. We drop our barriers to each other, and from that we build a greater understanding of the world."

    Isaiah Duplessis, Class of 2020

  • Fall Field Trip-Optional

    During the academic year, Oliver Hill Scholars also have the opportunity to travel off campus and participate in activities designed to be intellectually and culturally stimulating. While this is optional for scholars to participate in, it helps them further build community with each other. 

    Here is one Oliver Hill Scholar’s perspective on the unique travel opportunities:

    "Our fall field trip has been my favorite part of the Oliver Hill program thus far. The trip helped me develop close friendships and connections that will last a lifetime with my fellow Oliver Hill students."

    Anthony Thomassey, Class of 2021