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About the Fund

The Nichols Humanitarian Fund is a companion scholarship fund to the Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal. These programs seek to make Vanderbilt students better members of their communities and society in general by supporting their humanitarian activities and bringing speakers to Vanderbilt who embody the best of humanity.

The Nichols Humanitarian Fund was established in 2006 by the E.C. and Lucile Hamby Nichols Trust, and by Edward C. Nichols, Jr. (JD ’70) and his wife, Janice Nichols. The Fund encourages Vanderbilt students to become better citizens of the world and to broaden their thinking by volunteering for humanitarian efforts. It enables students to volunteer for local, domestic, or international humanitarian service opportunities by making support available for educational, travel, and living expenses during their time of service. The Fund distributes awards based on merit and need to Vanderbilt students to pay the expenses of their humanitarian activities.

It was established by Edward and Janice Nichols in honor of Laura Bush’s speech on Senior Class Day in 2006. The $100,000 cash prize that accompanied The Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal that Mrs. Bush accepted was given to Vanderbilt to start the Fund. The Fund also receives substantial contributions each year from The Edward and Janice Nichols Endowment Fund. The first awards were granted in 2007.

Students are encouraged to develop their own service opportunities in communities where they can work to address an area of need. In past years, students have served in communities all over the world, including Australia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, New Orleans, and India. Funding can also be used to participate in established Vanderbilt offerings. Click here for more about the Fund.

Please contact the Office of Immersion Resources at if you have any questions about the Nichols Humanitarian Fund or the award application process.