W&L Named a Top Producer of Gilman Scholars Seven students from W&L received Gilman scholarships for academic year 2020-2021.
The U.S. Department of State recognized Washington and Lee University as one of the U.S. colleges and universities that sent the most scholars abroad through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program during 2020-2021 academic year. The Gilman Scholarship expands access and equity in study abroad and international internship opportunities among U.S. undergraduate students with high financial need.
“In recognizing the top institutions with students studying abroad as Gilman Scholars, the United States continues to prioritize its commitment to provide access and equity to international experiences for all Americans,” said Lee Satterfield, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs.
At the height of the COVID-19 global health pandemic, which created severe obstacles for students to study abroad and participate in international educational exchanges, the Gilman Scholarship was able to support nearly 800 Gilman Scholars from 48 U.S. states and territories to study or intern, both in-person and virtually, in 77 locations around the world.
Additionally, the Gilman Program helps these students gain the professional skills, language abilities and knowledge needed for successful careers. The high academic performing and socio-economically diverse American undergraduate students who study overseas with support from the Gilman Program also build relationships, foster mutual understanding, and represent American culture and values, including in developing countries and countries critical to U.S. national security.
“I am incredibly proud of our students’ success in winning Gilman Scholarships,” said W&L Provost, Lena Hill. “Our students possess a deep investment in learning about other cultures, and this emerges across their many disciplines of study. Encouraging students to study abroad is a W&L priority, and I am grateful to Matthew Loar, director of fellowships, for his support of our students competing for prestigious awards and to our faculty and staff who help prepare students for these transformative opportunities.”
Since the program’s inception in 2001, more than 35,000 Gilman Scholars from all U.S. states, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories have studied or interned in more than 155 countries around the globe.
W&L administers the Gilman competition through the Office of Fellowships, under the management of Loar.
“As a university, W&L understands that one of the best ways to foster engaged citizenship in a global society is by encouraging our students to study or intern abroad,” said Loar. “We also encourage our students to be ambitious and unafraid to apply for competitive opportunities that can support their undergraduate studies. The Gilman Scholarship enables our students to pursue both goals simultaneously. With more students applying for and receiving Gilman Scholarships, we have more students who are able to enrich our campus with their international experiences and inspire future students to consider study abroad.”
The Gilman Scholarship is a public diplomacy program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is implemented by the Institute of International Education (IIE). To learn more about the Gilman Scholarship and how its diverse alumni pursue meaningful careers in the public, nonprofit and private sectors, visit gilmanscholarship.org.