The “Strong Scholars” Program for Initial Licensure Teacher Candidates

The “Strong Scholars” Program for Initial Licensure Teacher Candidates

Starting in 1928, the Hattie M. Strong Foundation (HMSF) has run what we believe to be one of the earliest and most successful student loan programs in the country. We have supported “young people of promise” in their pursuit of higher education across all fields of study in all regions of the country. Our loans always charged zero interest and offered flexible repayment schedules tied to the economic realities of a student’s career choice.

In 2009, the HMSF Board of Directors decided to confront a different kind of economic reality; the astonishingly high levels of debt that today’s college graduates must incur to complete their studies. Rather than make available yet another layer of debt, we decided to stop lending money and to simply give it away.

In alignment with our traditional focus on education, we have replaced our student loan program with a scholarship program aimed at college students enrolled in teacher-training programs. Specifically, the HMSF hopes to reduce financial pressure during the student-teaching semester, when a student’s ability to offset expenses with outside employment is curtailed by the rigor of full-time work in the classroom.

Program Operation, Application, and Selection Process

Funds for the $5,000 scholarships are distributed via partnership with twenty-four institutions, all located near Washington, D.C., that have demonstrated leadership in preparing outstanding classroom teachers. Application requirement and student selection will be determined by each institution’s scholarship committee in line with the following criteria in descending order of importance:

  • Undergraduate students who have exhibited outstanding success and enthusiasm in field experience prior to the final year of the program or graduate students whose life experiences prior to enrollment reveal the same traits
  • Students with demonstrated financial need
  • Students who have achieved a minimum 3.0 GPA in the two semesters prior to their final year


For students interested in learning more about applying for a Hattie M. Strong Foundation Strong Scholars Scholarship, please contact the following institutions:

The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Jo Anna Norris, Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations
Office of University Advancement
620 Michigan Avenue
107 Aquinas Hall
Washington, D.C. 20064
(202) 319-6913

Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.

Maribel Garate, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Education, Gallaudet University
800 Florida Avenue NE
Fowler Hall, Office 304A
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 540-8536

George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Jeff Davis, Director of Education Preparation
College of Education and Human Development
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 6C13
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
(703) 993-5899

James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Dr. Steve Purcell, Assistant Dean
James Madison University
College of Education – MSC 6911
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807
(540) 568-6793

Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia

Jodie L. Brinkmann, Ed.D., Chair
Scholarships and Awards Committee
College of Education and Human Services
201 High Street – 215 Hull
Farmville, Virginia 23909
(434) 395-2258

Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia

Dr. Jerrold W. Roy, Associate Dean
School of Education – Bozeman
700 Park Avenue
Norfolk, Virginia 23504
(757) 823-8590

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia

Jody Summerfeldt
Interim Director, Teacher Education Services
Education Building #2, Room 2345
Norfolk, Virginia 23529
(757) 683-6448

Radford University, Radford, Virginia

Dr. Tamara Wallace, Assistant Dean
College of Education and Human Development
A-114 Peters Hall
PO Box 6960
Radford, Virginia 24142

Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia

Dr. Mary E. Bowser, Director of Professional Licensure
School of Education and Human Development
Shenandoah University
20 South Cameron Street, Bowman 111, Henkel 204
Winchester, Virginia 22601
(540) 535-3575

University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Dr. Peter S. Kelly, Dean
College of Education
1301 College Avenue
Trinket Hall, Room 223
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401
(540) 654-1334

Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland

Kimetta R. Hairston, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education
Curriculum and Instruction Specialist
14000 Jericho Park Road, CLT 233G
Bowie, Maryland 20715
(301) 860-3122

Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland

Dr. Sally dhruva Stephenson – Associate Professor
Department of Educational Professions/Frampton Hall
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, Maryland 21532
(301) 687-4433

Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore, Maryland

Dr. Gary L. Thrift
Chair, School of Education
Gibbons Hall – Room 225B
4701 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21210
(410) 532-5497

Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland

Sara Elburn
Professional Development Schools Coordinator
1101 Camden Avenue
Salisbury, Maryland 21801
(410) 677-5042

Towson University, Towson, Maryland

Dr. Heather Haverback, Assistant Professor
Dept. of Secondary & Middle Education
College of Education
Towson University
Hawkins Hall, Room 413M
8000 York Road
Towson, Maryland 21252
(410) 704-2796

University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland

Marie Lilly, Associate Director, Foundation Relations
Office of Institutional Advancement
1000 Hilltop Circle, 812 AD
Baltimore, Maryland 21250
(410) 455-5707

East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

Terah Archie, Director
Office of Community Relations and Outreach
College of Education
244 Speight Building – Mail Stop 504
Greenville, North Carolina 27858
(252) 737-1257

Elon University, Elon, North Carolina

R. Brian Baker
Associate Vice President
University Advancement
Elon University
2615 Campus Box
Elon, North Carolina 27244
(877) 784-3566

Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina

Dr. Marion Gillis-Olion, Dean
School of Education
Fayetteville State University
1200 Murchison Road / Newbold Station
Fayetteville, North Carolina 28301-4298
(910) 672-1265

North Carolina Agricultural & Technology State University, Greensboro, North Carolina

Anthony Graham, Ph. D.
Professor and Dean
College of Education
North Carolina A & T State University
1601 East Market Street, 380 Proctor Hall
Greensboro, North Carolina 27411
(336) 334-7757

Salem Academy and College, Salem, North Carolina

Dr. Sheryl Long, Director of Teacher Education
Salem Academy and College
601 South Church Street
Main Hall, First Floor
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27101
(336) 721-2774

University of North Carolina – Pembroke, Pembroke, North Carolina

Dr. Alfred Bryant, Jr., Dean
School of Education
Education Center, Room 112
Pembroke, North Carolina 23872
(910) 775-4009

University of North Carolina – Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina

Dr. Carol McNulty, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs
Donald R. Watson College of Education | UNCW
601 S. College Road
Wilmington, North Carolina 28403-5991
(910) 962-3361

Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina

Dr. Kim Winter, Dean
College of Education & Allied Professions
204 Killian
Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723
(828) 227-7311