In 1992, the Udall Foundation was established by the United States Congress to honor the work and accomplishments of Morris K. "Mo" Udall, who served as a Democrat for Arizona in the House of Representatives from 1961 to 1991. Throughout his career in government, Udall was lauded for his initiatives to protect America's environmental resources. Among his achievements were the placement of a ban on the development of millions of acres of land in Alaska and the designation of millions of acres of federal land as wilderness. Udall was also integral to the development of landmark legislation, which addressed problems with strip mining and nuclear waste management. Udall was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton in 1996 for his efforts. He died in 1998 at the age of seventy-six.
In 2009, Congress amended the Udall Foundation to also honor the work of Morris Udall's late older brother, Stewart L. Udall, and the positive impact he had on environmental attitudes and legislation during his career in government, which included six years as a representative in Congress for Arizona. In addition to their work in environmental preservation, the Udall's careers in government and public policy significantly impacted Native American self-governance and healthcare.
The Udall Undergraduate Scholarship is awarded to college sophomores and juniors in recognition of leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment. Scholarships are offered in three categories: tribal policy, for Native American and Alaskan Native students working on policy issues in Native American nations; health care, for Native American and Alaskan Native students pursuing health care related careers; and environment, for all undergraduates pursuing careers related to conservation and environmental issues. The Udall Foundation seeks students who are working towards positive solutions to issues and environmental challenges which affect members of Native American nations and who have demonstrated commitment to one of the scholarship areas through their education and public service. Students who apply should also inspire and motivate others to work for positive change and be committed to making a difference through civility and consensus building.
Award stipend and benefits
As part of their award, recipients of the scholarship are granted access to the Udall Alumni Network, an association of professionals working in Native American lands and environmental fields, through which they will participate in the sharing of innovative ideas and receive professional advice as well as job and internship opportunities.
Scholarship recipients spend five days in Tucson, Arizona for Scholar Orientation; for 2019 scholars, Orientation will begin August 6-11, 2019. At orientation, award recipients will meet fellow scholars and alumni and learn new skills while they expand their professional networks.
Recipients receive a travel scholarship for costs associated with travel to and from orientation; lodging and meals at orientation will also be provided. Recipients are also awarded up to $7,000 for eligible academic expenses.
program and eligibility requirements
There is no minimum GPA required to apply for this scholarship. Though not as important as leadership or community service activities, grades are a significant aspect of a candidate's application. The Foundation seeks applicants who have a GPA that is steady or generally on an upward trend. Other program and eligibility requirements include:
- Applicants must be sophomores or juniors in college at the time of application. Students who have completed an undergraduate degree are not eligible. Students who are enrolled in a five-year combined bachelor's and master's program may apply in their second or third years of study.
- Advisors must submit on behalf of the candidate. Candidates may not submit their application directly to the foundation.
- A student's application must consist of a completed application form, an eight-hundred-word essay about a speech, legislative act, book or public policy statement by either Morris K. Udall or Stewart L. Udall and its impact on the student's interests or goals, transcripts for all college coursework, and three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the student's academic achievements, leadership activities, and commitment to public service. Interested students can view advice for completing their application, sample application questions, and more on the Foundation's website.
- Applicants may be pursuing any major or field of study, provided that they meet all scholarship requirements and demonstrate the qualities which the Foundation seeks in its scholars. No majors or fields are prioritized over others.
- A student who is interested in a Udall scholarship in tribal policy may apply if they are a member of a state- or federally-recognized tribe or band, if one or more of their parents or grandparents was a member of a state- or federally-recognized tribe or band, if they are an Eskimo, Aleut or Alaska Native, or if they are a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident who is a member of the First Nations of Canada.
- Students must be able to attend the Scholar Orientation in order to receive their scholarship. If a student is awarded a scholarship and cannot attend the Orientation, the scholarship will be revoked.
- Scholarship awards cannot be deferred.
The application for the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship opens on October 1, 2019 and closes on March 7, 2020. An interview is not required.
university contact information
Interested students should contact Kent State University's Udall Scholarship advisor Frank Congin at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Please check back in future months for Kent State's internal deadlines and process.