WASHINGTON, D.C. – (July 8, 2020) – Hampton University student Bruce Wilson has been named a 2020 HBCU Competitiveness Scholar, the highest student recognition given through the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Wilson is a rising senior, political science major, economics minor from Chicago, IL and was recently elected to serve as the Student Representative on the Hampton University Board of Trustees.
“Hampton University takes pride in honoring those who excel and achieve above and beyond what is expected of them. It is our hope that Mr. Bruce Wilson will use this recognition as proof that hard work and dedication truly pays off,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
Scholars are chosen based on their academic achievements, campus and civic involvement and entrepreneurial ethos or “go-getter” spirits. Comprised of undergraduate, graduate, professional students, and international students from various academic backgrounds, the 2020 scholars were selected from among several highly distinguished HBCU students. In addition, each recognized scholar was nominated and endorsed by their institution president, which itself is a prestigious acknowledgement. Wilson was one of 44 students selected from 33 HBCUs.
“Being recognized as a 2020 White House HBCU Competitiveness Scholar by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities through the U.S. Department of Education is a dignified distinction and one that I hope will inspire future Hamptonians and HBCU students across the nation to pursue academic excellence, leadership, and a heart for public service,” Bruce said. “In light of the current unprecedented and tumultuous times, the need for well-endowed HBCUs is more apparent than ever. I plan to use the privileges allotted by this recognition to represent Hampton University, bring exposure to the intellectual curiosity that exists on HBCU campuses, and to further expand the capacity and competitiveness of myself and HBCUs.”
Wilson is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Gloucester Institute Emerging Leader; a Scholar with The Institute for Responsible Citizenship; and the Greer Dawson Student Leadership Training Program. He is planning to spend the summer interning with the Economic Policy Institute, writing and researching on the racial wealth gap and economic inequality.
“I am simply thrilled to recognize the 2020 HBCU Competitiveness Scholars,” said Johnathan Holifield, Executive Director of the Initiative. “These students are fine examples of the talent and boundless vitality found at America’s HBCUs. This recognition heightens expectations for scholars to continue making meaningful contributions to our nation. I am confident they will deliver.”
Selected students will serve for one academic school year representing the 2020-2021 cohort of Competitiveness Scholars. During this unique academic school year, the Initiative will work closely with federal and non-federal partners to develop a robust calendar of virtual events for the scholars that will explore, exchange ideas and share best practices around leadership, professional development, career pathways, government resources and much more.
Competitiveness Scholars typically assemble during the Annual National HBCU Week Conference. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, scholars will not be able to convene in Washington, D.C. for the National Recognition Program in the Fall. Instead, plans are underway for an online recognition and virtual campaign to ensure the scholars receive their acknowledgement during 2020 Virtual HBCU Week Conference. During this virtual event, they will participate in workshops designed to strengthen their leadership and will be encouraged to seek out ongoing personal and professional development in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship.
For more information on this recognition, please visit the Competitiveness Scholars Program webpage.