A Message from the Associate Director,
Dr. Paul Harris
As the associate director for national prestigious
scholarships I have the opportunity to work with Auburn’s best
and brightest students as they pursue nationally competitive
scholarships and fellowships such as the Rhodes,
Gates-Cambridge, Fulbright, Goldwater, Udall, and National
Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships to name a few.
Established in the fall of 2008, the Office of National
Prestigious Scholarships has the primary responsibility to
identify, recruit, mentor, and develop students to compete for
these awards. Though each scholarship has different
requirements, generally speaking, all require a demonstrated
commitment to academic excellence, typically measured in an
overall grade-point-average of 3.7 and above; an intellectually
curious and engaged mind; a strong undergraduate research
record; a sustained commitment to extra-curricular activities
such as athletics, community and / or faith based service; and a
strong desire to make the world in which we live a better place.
In my position within the Honors College I play an active
role in recruiting the best and brightest students to the Auburn
University campus. When meeting with prospective students and
their parents, I am often asked the following:
“What does it take to become a competitive scholarship
First, a superior academic record as measured by a strong
grade-point-average - typically 3.7 and above; second, someone
who possesses an extraordinary dedication to scholarship,
brilliance of mind, and unquestionably strong powers of critical
thinking. All of these qualities should be present in anyone who
wishes to pursue a nationally competitive scholarship. Ideally,
all of these qualities should be present in all Auburn
University undergraduates. Yet, in addition, and just as
important, successful scholarship applicants must possess a
nobility of character, a genuine passion for life and for
knowledge, a caring disposition for other people especially
those less fortunate than themselves, and an ability to relate
to all kinds of people – some coming from very different places
than themselves, and to be able to share their thoughts and
explanations with tremendous warmth, sensitivity and humanity.
In a sense, successful scholarship applicants are those students
who embody the Auburn Creed.
Mr. Edgar Gentle (AU ’78) and Auburn’s 2nd Rhodes Scholar
adds “many Auburn students can compete successfully for these
scholarships if they will only take the time to apply and
And he is correct! In the past three years Auburn students
have been selected as Rhodes, Gate-Cambridge, Fulbright, Udall,
Rotary, National Science Foundation, and Goldwater Scholars. In
addition, Auburn student athletes have been selected as the H.
Boyd McWhorter Southeastern Conference Scholar Athlete of the
Year Award (the first time in the history of the award that the
top male and female scholar athlete were selected from the same
institution); the Brad Davis Southeastern Conference Community
Service Award; and the Walter Byers NCAA Scholarship.
Should you be interested in pursuing one of these coveted
scholarship opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Paul Harris, Ph.D. (AU ‘97 and Fulbright Scholar to Germany