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Knight-Hennessy Scholars program announces selection criteria


The newly created Knight-Hennessy Scholars program recently announced its general criteria for admission. Aimed at attracting talented students from around the world to pursue graduate studies at Stanford, including M.D. and J.D. programs, the scholarship will prioritize candidates who demonstrate excellence in thought, leadership and character.

The newly-created Knight-Hennessy Scholars program will fund students for both master’s and doctoral study, including the MBA, MD and JD programs (ADAM LEVINE/ The Stanford Daily).

“We are seeking those with rebellious minds,” Derrick Bolton, dean of admissions for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, said in a statement to Stanford News. “Yes, people who are sharp thinkers and intelligent but, even more so, curious — students who will bring good ideas and maverick perspectives to old challenges.”

According to the scholarship website, the primary criteria include “independence of thought,” “purposeful leadership” and a “civic mindset” — students who can “out-think, out-work and out-care others.” Scholars should be able to draw their own conclusions, seek self-improvement and work with resilience.

The first cohort of 50 scholars will come to Stanford in fall 2018. Unlike many existing fellowships, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program offers funding for J.D., M.D. and master’s degrees in addition to doctoral studies with the aim of cultivating students from around the world to solve complex problems.

Together with John Hennessy, president emeritus and director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, Bolton has raised awareness about the program through a series of presentations on the East Coast and in the United Kingdom.

“Every session reached capacity and several were overbooked,” Hennessy said to Stanford News. Bolton and Hennessy will next present in South Korea, Japan and China.

Although candidates apply and enroll separately in their specific graduate program, Knight-Hennessy scholars will enjoy common resources for leadership development and interdisciplinary learning.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program is the most well funded global scholarship program in the world, with a $750 million endowment. It is named for Stanford’s 10th president, John Hennessy, as well as Phil Knight MBA ’62, who donated $400 million to the scholarship program. Applications will be available beginning May 1.


Contact Lark Wang at larkw ‘at’

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