Scholarships, Research, and Carroll Hardy

Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship

Once African American students arrived on campus, faculty and staff found ways to support students throughout their four years at William & Mary. In 1968, just a few days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and only a year after the institution’s first African American residential students, William & Mary faculty created a book scholarship in his honor—the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship. Though the scholarship was open to all students, it was created to encourage African American students to see William & Mary as a financially viable option.


In addition to student efforts, faculty and staff worked diligently to prove to underrepresented communities that they too had a future at William & Mary. Dr. Carroll Hardy, Associate Dean of Multicultural Affairs (and later the Associate Dean of Minority Affairs) established the Summer Transition and Enrichment Program (STEP), which exposed high school juniors from underrepresented groups to higher education and William & Mary. The program included courses designed to enhance the attendees’ writing, math, and study skills. Hardy was a force at William & Mary until 1995, when she resigned in order to found the Stuart Educational Leadership Group, Inc. with her siblings. Dr. Hardy became an honorary alumna in May 2012 and passed away that November. In 2016, Hardy Hall was named in her honor, the first building at William & Mary to be named after an African American woman.

Are you WMSURE?

Undergraduate research is a coveted aspect of the William & Mary experience. Known as WMSURE, the William and Mary Scholars Undergraduate Research Experience serves as a support group for William & Mary Scholars. The W&M Scholars Award is presented to a small group of bright undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds. The program allows undergraduates to pursue research opportunities with the help of over fifty faculty mentors. WMSURE holds workshops for these scholars on topics ranging from time management and graduate school to stereotype threat and solo status.