The university will select the next class of Chancellor’s Scholars this weekend during the first ever Honors Scholars Weekend, Michael Marshall, the associate director of admissions said.
The visiting students will interview to become Chancellor’s Scholars, which is part of a new initiative and process of determining the scholars, he said. Invited prospective students will stay with a current student and take part in events to fully experience the university, he said.
According to the TCU website, Chancellor’s Scholars are students selected as entering freshmen and are awarded full tuition scholarships based on their academic and leadership achievements in high school.
Previously, Chancellor’s Scholars were chosen solely based on academics, Marshall said. But with the new process, potential scholars will also be able to display their communication skills and leadership experience, he said.
Because the scholars have already been admitted to the university and have received the Dean’s Scholarship, the academic playing field has become level, he said. The interviews will help decide who are the best candidates for the Chancellor’s Scholarship, he said.
The weekend would include a John V. Roach Honors College preview, Experience TCU and a dinner hosted by Chancellor Victor Boschini before the interview day on Saturday, he said. Current Chancellor’s Scholars would help interview the prospective students, he said.
Cody Westphal, a first-year pre-business major, said he had visited other schools with programs and scholarships similar to the Chancellor’s Scholarship. After seeing a more developed sense of community at other schools, Westphal wanted to encourage something similar at the university, he said.
Westphal suggested a fall retreat in which the new class of Chancellor’s Scholars would attend and get to know each other better. This would build a sense of community among the scholars, and as a group they could potentially make more effective changes because of their very active involvement on campus, he said.
“If you can have them taking their idea, presenting it to the group and the community by the Chancellor’s Scholars, I feel like the sky’s the limit when you get that many capable young adults working together and really trusting each other and really trusting that they can make TCU better,” Westphal said.
Boschini said the Chancellor’s Scholars had the opportunity to get to know the him through the variety of events involving both him and the scholars. The Honors Scholars Weekend and the fall retreat for the Chancellor’s Scholars are two ways for Boschini to get to know them even more, he said.
“One thing they all have in common is that they’re all very motivated, and they’re all very driven in a positive sense,” Boschini said. “They all work very hard, which I think is great.”
Westphal said the scholarship motivated the scholars to give back because the university had provided so much for them, not only monetarily but also in terms of opportunities. For Westphal, if he could manage to improve the university in any way, it would be because of how blessed he has been as a Chancellor’s Scholar.
“If I can pay back in any way I possibly can, I’ll work for it because it’s such a blessing,” he said.
Ann Louden, the Chancellor’s Associate for External Relations, manages the Chancellor’s Scholars Program and had the opportunity to get to know the scholars and witness their growth during their four years at the university.
“The biggest reward is being able to see the freshman come in and then graduating four years later having had this amazing experience, having their horizons broadened academically and in terms of their social and leadership potential,” Louden said. “Just to watch the process, and when they graduate it’s like they’ve been transformed. And I love that our program helps make that possible.”
The Honors Scholars Weekend will take place from Thursday to Saturday.