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History & Mission

History of the Ingram Scholars Program

E Bronson IngramE. Bronson Ingram, chairman of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust from 1991 until his death in 1995, conceived of the Ingram Scholars Program in 1993 as a way to encourage Vanderbilt students to combine a professional career with a commitment to community service. Mr. Ingram's own life exemplified volunteerism and an untiring commitment to mobilizing the resources of the business community to assist non-profit community groups. The Ingram Scholars Program is a natural development for Vanderbilt because of its longstanding and ever-expanding institutional commitment to community outreach and service.

The Ingram Scholars Program challenges Vanderbilt students to excel both inside and outside the classroom. Ingram Scholars must maintain the high academic standards that are expected of a Vanderbilt student, as well as initiate and execute volunteer projects in the community. 

Among the largest gifts to the University was the multimillion-dollar gift to endow the Ingram Scholars Program, awarded each year to undergraduates who volunteer time while at Vanderbilt and demonstrate a commitment to combine a career in business or a business-related field with community service. The Ingram Scholars Program began in 1994 when four undergraduates and two incoming freshmen were awarded scholarships.

 20th Anniversary Documentary:

Our Mission:

  • To facilitate academic, professional, and service opportunities relating to each Scholar's respective interests and career plans through advising, seminars, internship placements, projects, travel, and collaboration
  • To maximize opportunities that prepare Scholars for professional careers involving a commitment to solving critical social problems
  • To strengthen the connections between academic learning and engaged service
  • To develop an understanding of the relevant financial, legal and organizational constructs involved in high-impact philanthropy
  • To foster a strong sense of community among the Ingram Scholars, alumni, and our key partners

Our Values:

 Ingram Pillars of Excellence


Ingram Scholars receive full-tuition support and housing benefits each year, in addition to a stipend for one immersive service experience to be completed between the Scholar's sophomore and junior years. Vanderbilt will provide additional need-based financial aid to those Ingram Scholars whose demonstrated financial need exceeds the amount of full tuition plus housing. Scholarships are renewable annually up to eight semesters, contingent on the maintenance of a 3.0 minimum GPA and the fulfillment of monthly service requirements. Ingram Scholars meet weekly in both large and small groups to discuss individual and collective progress, and to reflect on the personal meaning and societal implications of service and civic engagement. The Ingram Scholar Program is coordinated by a faculty director who oversees Scholar activities associated with the program.