Good News! Mellon Mays Fellows Program to Increase College Faculty Diversity Is Funded for Four Additional Years

Recently, funding for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program was renewed for an additional four years. The program seeks to increase the racial diversity of faculty at the nation’s colleges and universities by mentoring and providing financial support for undergraduate minority students who express an interest in securing a Ph.D. and teaching at the college level. The program, which began in 1988, is administered by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and was named to honor Benjamin E. Mays, the former president of Morehouse College who served as a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr.

Each of the 42 participating colleges and universities receives a grant from the Mellon Foundation to fund the program at their institution. Students are typically selected in their sophomore year of college and are eligible for loans to fund their junior and senior years. Students who fulfill their obligations of entering doctoral studies can have up to $10,000 of their student loans paid off by the grant funds.

In addition to financial support, Mellon Mays fellows receive faculty mentoring, research stipends, and summer internships. Mellon Mays fellows who are enrolled in graduate school are eligible for research funds, travel costs, and dissertation grants.

Since the program’s inception, 311 Mellon Mays fellows have earned a Ph.D. and are currently teaching at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Thirty-seven Mellon Mays scholars have achieved tenure.