Since he joined the University of Oklahoma faculty in 1967, George Henderson's name has become synonymous with efforts to promote ethnic diversity and interracial understanding on the OU campus and throughout the country. He founded OU's Human Relations program and designed its curriculum in 1969 the same year he received the Sylvan N. Goldman Professorship. In 1999 there was a vision to honor Dr. George Henderson by establishing a scholarship program in his name – this vision become a reality. In 2001, the Henderson Scholars Program officially came into fruition. The 2002-2003 Henderson Scholars was the first class. These twenty students represented the diversity of the students at the University of Oklahoma and have become role models for all Henderson Scholars.
Each year, the Henderson Scholars Program identifies 20 students with diverse interests, perspectives, experiences, skills and backgrounds who will contribute to an enriched educational, cultural and social environment at OU. Your gift can make a difference in the lives of these deserving students. $1,500 supports a student for a year and $6,000 supports a student for four years.
Henderson Scholars continually average a 3.3 cumulative grade point average and have completed over 1700 hours of community service.
Henderson Scholars Program top initiatives include:
- To identify and recruit 20 to 30 high school seniors annually.
- To introduce our scholars to a stimulating intellectual community that encourages them to participate in community service, mentorship, and to think critically and independently with their peers regarding a variety of issues within the University of Oklahoma and globally.
- To create and operate programs that will introduce prospective scholars to the University community and to the advantages of being selected as a Henderson Scholar.
- To increase the Henderson Scholars Endowment with financial support through fundraising, by developing partnerships with local individuals, alumni, community leaders and friends of the university.
- To increase the availability of scholarships to students who meet or exceed current scholarship criteria.