With $20.6M Investment, UMD Becomes HQ for Clark Scholars Program

UMD will become the permanent home of a multi-university program that recruits and supports outstanding undergrads with financial need, thanks to a new $20.6 million investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation.

Active at 11 of the nation’s top engineering institutions, including the University of Maryland, the A. James Clark Scholars Program provides scholarships to students who share the foundation’s commitments to leadership, innovation and community service in engineering and other disciplines.

Reintroduced as the Clark Scholars Program Network, it will encourage collaboration and innovation across participating institutions and with alums.

“Jim Clark believed that if you gave a person a chance, they would create greatness,” says UMD President Darryll J. Pines. “The Clark Scholars Program has given hundreds of students a chance, and the greatness they are creating will shape the world for decades to come. We are excited and honored to carry forward Mr. Clark’s legacy of impact.”

Launched in 2016, the Clark Scholars Program combines engineering, business, leadership and community service. It has supported 591 students across its partner institutions, consistently exceeding national averages for female representation, underrepresented minorities in STEM and Pell Grant-eligible students enrolled in undergraduate engineering degree programs.

During the 2022–23 academic year, 71% of Clark Scholars didn’t need to take out private student loans, thanks to the program’s financial support.

The new scholars network will facilitate forums for sharing best practices and novel ideas, establish a robust alumni network and host an annual Clark Scholars Summit at partner institutions: Duke University, the George Washington University, Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins University, Penn State, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University and Virginia Tech.

“The sense of community between program staff across all 11 university partners is part of what makes this program so unique,” says Joel Del Guercio, president and CEO of the foundation.

Including this new investment, the Clark Foundation and Clark family have invested more than $300 million to build infrastructure and support students, faculty and research at UMD.


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