Meet This Year’s Nicholas School Scholars


Earlier this year, the Nicholas School invited 12 new students to represent the Nicholas Scholars Program — now in its second year. The prestigious scholarship award recognizes the elite group of students that exemplify the School’s most valued traits: academic excellence, diverse life experiences and perspectives, and environmental leadership potential.

The emerging leaders received scholarships that cover two-thirds of their tuition, which are made possible by the generous Nicholas School donors who have contributed to scholarship and financial aid funds, as well as the Nicholas School Annual Fund. In addition to scholarship support, Nicholas Scholars will take part in a two-year program designed to expand their understanding of, and inspire new perspectives and insights on, environmental leadership. Guided by a faculty advisor, they will have opportunities to network with local environmental leaders and practitioners and hone their personal leadership potential. After graduation, these scholars will proactively engage with the environmental community as distinguished alumni of the Nicholas School.

The 12 new standout students join the nine Scholars from the Class of 2018, bringing the total to 21 current Scholars. The nine second-year Scholars continue to thrive in their programs and are eager to see where their experiences at the Nicholas School take them after graduation. “When I arrived for orientation last year, I probably couldn’t have told you exactly what kind of a conservation job I would want. Now, I know I want to work at the intersection of climate policy and land conservation.” said Alex Rudee, MEM’18. “I’ve worked with some of the top practitioners and thought leaders in the field during my time at the Nicholas School, so I’ll graduate with a strong network in the field.”

For more information on the Nicholas Scholar’s students, click here.

Increasing Scholarship Potential

The school has launched a new financial aid initiative, Forging Future Leaders Together, in order to continue and improve scholarship opportunities for students like those in the Nicholas Scholars Program. The new campaign has established a goal of raising $25 million in financial aid for current and future Nicholas students. If successful, the campaign will allow the school to offer highly competitive financial aid packages and, in turn, bring in even stronger and more diverse students.

The new initiative follows the wrap-up of the Duke Forward campaign, which saw the school raise more than $114.9 million over seven years — more than doubling the original goal of $55 million.

To learn more about the Forging Future Leaders Together campaign and how you can contribute, click here.