Scholarships and Awards


Of the scholarships and awards in the College of Humanities and Sciences database, the following are offered to undergraduate students through the Department of African American Studies. They are supported by, or endowed in honor of, alums and former members of our faculty, in a tangible representation of their deep commitment to VCU and to African American studies as discipline.

  • Dennis-Weathers Award: The Dennis-Weathers Award was created in honor of Dr. Rutledge M. Dennis’s parents, David and Ora Porcher-Dennis, and his godparents, Joseph and Rebecca Rutledge Weathers. The award will be given annually to an African American studies student for outstanding leadership and community service. All students irrespective of classification may apply.
  • U. and M. Smedley Family Merit Scholarship: Established in 2001 by Audrey Y. Smedley, Ph.D., in honor of her parents, the purpose of this scholarship is to encourage serious study and research, and to support qualified students who have an interest in Africa and/or the African American experience. The award will be given to a full-time undergraduate student majoring in African American studies and will be based on merit. The recipient must maintain a 3.0 GPA and not be engaged in full-time employment off-campus. The scholarship may be renewed as long as the student remains in good academic standing. This scholarship is not available to graduating seniors.

Black History in the Making Awards

The Black History in the Making Awards were founded in 1983 by Daryl Dance, Ph.D., the distinguished scholar of African American and Caribbean literature, who served as program coordinator during the 1983-84 academic year. Dance established the Black History in the Making Awards to recognize the achievements of African American students.

Visit the Black History in the Making Awards page to get more information on:

  • How to submit a nomination
  • Selection process
  • Awards ceremony
  • Current and former recipients
an emotional student graduate attending her commencement ceremony at v.c.u.