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VSU joins Bonner Leaders Program

Published date: May 2, 2013

Virginia State University (VSU) is joining a network of 70 colleges and universities that sponsor the Bonner Leaders Program, a new, service-based scholarship program.  Beginning in Fall 2013, students in the Bonner Leaders Program will serve 8-10 hours per week during the school year, and participate in regular training and reflection about their service and the issues they are addressing.  In return, they will receive a school-year stipend and an AmeriCorps Education Award. The Bonner Program is supported by the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation.  

The Bonner Program provides access to education and an opportunity to serve to more than 3,000 students a year. It is one of the largest, most successful models for service-based scholarships.

The VSU Bonner Leader Program will advance a culture of service through a core group of the university’s most academically-talented students.  The program will also expand opportunities for VSU to collaborate and cooperate with organizations in Petersburg and the Tri-Cities to address local issues.  

“I am pleased that VSU has become a member of the Bonner Leaders Program,” said VSU President Keith T. Miller.  “Academic, as well as civic activities, will be fully integrated as our students grow in holistic ways.  This provides another opportunity for us to address today's societal challenges with tomorrow's leaders.”

The Bonner Leaders Program will be administered by VSU’s Director of Service Learning & Civic Engagement Anne-Marie Turnage.  “I am very pleased that VSU will join the Bonner family,” she said. “It is an excellent opportunity for our students, as well as the community.  The Bonner Leader Program will match academic talent, with a deep commitment to civic engagement, while providing resources to support the costs of attending VSU.”  

On this new development within the University’s Honors Program, Interim Honors Director Daniel Roberts stated, “Through a commitment to civic engagement, VSU Honors students will have the opportunity to share their knowledge to serve the common good.  I am immensely proud that VSU’s Honors Program has a civic conscience.”

The national Bonner network includes public and private institutions, such as UC-Berkeley and the University of Richmond.  VSU becomes the third HBCU to join the program after Morehouse College and Spelman College.  

Robert Hackett, President of the Bonner Foundation, said “I’m pleased that Virginia State University is joining the community of schools in the Bonner network.  The students I recently met share the commitment to make the world a better place that drives our work.  With their energy and leadership and the active support of the administration, VSU’s Bonner Leaders will agents of change in the community and on campus today and in years to come.”

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