The John B. Ervin Scholar Program at Washington University in St. Louis celebrated its 25th anniversary this past weekend as more than 1,000 alumni, family, and friends with connections to the program converged on campus. As part of the celebration, guests attended a lecture by Ruby Nell Bridges, who in 1960, escorted by four federal marshals, racially integrated the William Frantz Public School in New Orleans. The event was depicted in a famous Norman Rockwell painting.
The scholars program was founded in 1987 to honor the university’s first African American dean, John B. Ervin, who died in 1992. Ervin was dean of the School of Continuing Education at the university from 1968 to 1977.
The scholarship program was aimed at increasing the quality and diversity of the student body at the university. Each year between 35 and 45 full-tuition scholarships are granted to incoming first-year students who have “shown a commitment to community service and bringing diverse people together.”