Open Doors, Diverse Campus

Chancellor’s Scholarship Program

UW–Madison’s leadership is serious about making campus a more diverse and inclusive environment. And with the help of anonymous donors, WFAA is rallying Badger alumni and friends to help that effort.

In early 2016, a couple that wishes to remain anonymous made a $10 million pledge to match gifts that support the Chancellor’s Scholarship Program (CSP). Established in 1984, the CSP aims to increase educational opportunities for academically talented, underrepresented ethnic minorities — African, Hispanic, Native, and Southeast Asian Americans — and socioeconomically disadvantaged undergraduates. The scholarship covers tuition and fees and an annual book award of $800.

There are currently 255 CSP recipients enrolled at UW–Madison — students who represent a wide diversity of majors and areas of interest.

“The Chancellor’s Scholarship Program has connected me with tools and people that I need to make my education possible,” says Negassi Tesfamichael, an honors student in political science and English. “Expanding the program will help students of color and the university as a whole by tapping into potential that previously was not tapped into.”

“The Chancellor’s Scholarship Program has connected me with tools and people that I need to make my education possible.”
Negassi Tesfamichael

Many Chancellor’s Scholars assume leadership roles in student organizations and invest in the progress of the campus. Tesfamichael manages the newsroom at The Daily Cardinal, gives back to the community with Badger Volunteers, and participates in the Pi Sigma Alpha political science honors society. More than half of CSP alumni pursue graduate or professional degrees, and many others are emerging leaders in their respective fields. Chancellor’s Scholars who entered the UW in 2011 had a four-year graduation rate of 71.7 percent, which exceeds the campuswide graduation rate.

“These are the students that ruin the curve by getting 100 percent on exams,” says Heather Kozlowski, a CSP student who studied engineering and was cochair of her class. “We have competitive internships and will be attending top grad schools. My peers inspire me, and I am constantly reminded and motivated to keep up.”

This matching program applies to new gifts and pledges made after January 1, 2016, on a first-come, first-served basis. All pledges should be paid within five years of the pledge commitment. Funds that are established or enhanced will be named by the initiating donor.

“On behalf of the entire university community, I want to thank these generous donors for helping to ensure that talented individuals from underrepresented groups are able to pursue their education at the UW,” says UW–Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank. “This gift is not only an investment in these students, but in the entire campus.”