Howard University’s Inaugural Presidental Scholars Reception

By Kyra Azore, News Vision Reporter and Merdie Nznaga, Howard University News Service

Howard University held its first presidential scholar reception last Friday, to recognize students that have received the “most prestigious” scholarship award from the university.

“Every year, we seek to enroll the best and the brightest students from that year’s graduating class,” Tammy McCants, associate director in the Division of Enrollment Management said.  “And those are also the students that are highly sought after by other institutions.”

According to McCants, students tend to keep the scholarship and perform “exceptionally well” during their time in school.

The full ride scholarship, which covers tuition fees, room and board, as well as, a stipend and laptop, was a great opportunity for graduating senior Ogenetekevwe Akoroda.

“There are no words to describe how happy I was,” said the graduating senior from Lagos, Nigeria. “I was coming to study in the U.S. for free… I felt very happy and very proud of myself.”

For Akoroda, maintaining the scholarship has been easy, and he credits himself as a hard worker and thanks the university adding that the scholarship has been a “stress relief.”

During the event, President Wayne A.I. Frederick praised the scholars for their academic achievements, handed each of them certificates of recognition and reminded them that their education was the main reason they came to Howard.

“The primary reason you are here is to get your education, and to make sure..the academic environment has to be the top of what you focus on,” Frederick said.

Students are selected based on their GPA and test scores. Of the 6,000 students that applied for the early action decision last November, 23 scholarship offers were made.

According to McCants, Howard University receives the funds to distribute the scholarships through its internal budget which can be of revenue from tuition as well as federal government funds and donations.  

Kennedy Ivy, a junior chemical engineering major, describes the moment she was notified of her scholarship as a “tense relief.”

“It was just such a tense relief because, if my college was not paid for, I would not be going to college,” a teary-eyed Ivy said.

Ivy said she has to maintain a 3.3 GPA to keep her scholarship but she has excelled above that with a 3.5.

She plans to develop a degree with skin care for people of “deeper skin tones.” and develop a scholarship for those coming after her.

Shri Janand, a graduating senior and computer science major from Hyderabad India, told Howard University News Service, that he “probably teared up.” the day he was notified of the award.

“I knew I wanted to study in the U.S., we (him and his family)  just didn’t have the finances to support that,” Janand said.

“When I got the Howard acceptance the first thing I did was lock my door. The moment I got the presidential scholarship, I just swung my door opened and said: “oh we made it.”

Janand has already received a job offer from Microsoft as a software engineer which he will begin after graduation.

Admitted students for fall 2019 who have also received the scholarship, were invited to the reception.

Among those in attendance also included Provost & Chief Academic Officer Dr. Anthony Wutoh, parents of some newly accepted students and scholarship recipients, as well as Associate Provost and Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management, Anthony Jones.