June 10, 2023

New Home for Washington, Alvey, and Dorsey Scholars

The University of Mary Washington announces exciting changes to the Washington, Alvey, and Dorsey Scholar programs starting in the fall of 2013.  These changes are based on the recommendations of the scholars and a committee made up of faculty and staff from across the university.

UMW's 2012-2013 scholars pose with President Richard V. Hurley

UMW’s 2012-2013 scholars pose with President Richard V. Hurley

First and foremost, both programs will now have a home at UMW’s Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service (CHLS).  The reasons for doing this are to provide scholars with a point of contact for the university; to provide space for them to use for meetings, projects, or just to relax; and to provide them with support and guidance in their academic and co-curricular endeavors.

This new affiliation is not intended to create additional work, but rather to offer new opportunities.  The center offers connections to many community service and engagement activities, leadership development, mentoring, and a wide range of programming.  We anticipate that scholars will find CHLS resources complement their existing endeavors and inspire them to begin new ones.

Center staff will collaborate with the scholars to empower them to tailor programs to their needs and to determine just how this relationship should look in the future.  The staff will also serve as informal advisers to Washington and Alvey scholars individually and as a group.  Dorsey scholars will continue to benefit from the guidance of their long-time adviser, Dr. Venitta McCall.

The UMW Alumni Association established the Washington and Alvey Scholars Program in 1997.  Scholars compete for and win privately funded and named UMW comprehensive scholarships.  The Washington Scholarships are offered to Virginia residents, and the Alvey to out-of-state applicants with leadership qualities and commitment to community service and extracurricular activities. There are currently 10 named scholarships, with additional endowments actively sought by University Advancement.

The Dorsey Scholars Program was privately funded by Paul R. and Mary Ann Dorsey Judy ’54 in 2008 to enable promising young people of excellent intellectual ability and leadership potential representing diverse gender, racial, ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, disability, religious, and geographic backgrounds to attend UMW. Selection criteria include academic achievement and a commitment to leadership and community service.

Both groups are dynamic, with new scholars entering UMW each year as senior recipients graduate.  Dr. Venita McCall serves as the primary mentor for the Dorsey Scholars. Until recently, the Washington and Alvey Scholars were under the mentorship of Ali Hieber in Admissions.  As both programs have flourished and grown, the university saw the potential for enhancing the programs under the umbrella of the newly established Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service.  There are many commonalities between the donors’ intentions for the scholarship programs and the goals of the center—a perfect fit!

For more information, see the following links:

*More information about the Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service is available at:

*More information about the Dorsey Scholars is available at:

*More information about the Washington/Alvey Scholars program is available at:

*More information about the establishment of the programs and their funding is available on pages 4-9 at:  http://giving.umw.edu/endowments/2013-endowment-directory/