Blatchford Scholars

MUFD Mural 2020 Overview

The Dorothy Blatchford Memorial Scholarship Fund was created in 1984 to honor the life and legacy of the woman who helped give life to the first pow wow held at the University of Missouri. It is intended to support Native American students who seek to academically excel and who wish to use their education to give back to their tribe and community.

Today, the fund is supported by Native American graduates of Mizzou, and others, who are committed to the success of Native Americans through education. The scholars program was put under the umbrella of the Honors College in 2017 in order to ensure its longevity and impact.

Indigenous Peoples, Lands, and Waters Acknowledgement

Lands and waters are not as fixed, linear, and singular as “modern” colonial maps represent, and dismantling those conceptions of land is not simple. With that in mind, the supporters of this scholarship offer an acknowledgement of the Indigenous Peoples who practice/d culture, ceremony, and life on this sacred and ancestral ecology of lands and waters we occupy in what is colonially known as “Missouri.”

Wahzhazhe (Osage) people have the oldest and longest ties to this area and identify home lands and waters they belong to here in “Missouri.” Ancestral Ponca, U-Mo’n-Ho’n (Omaha), and Kanza (Kaw) nations also have longstanding relationships with “Missouri.” There are numerous other nations who were/are impacted by removals, reservations, and colonial borders in this area, including Nutachi (Missouria), Jiwere (Otoe), Ogáxpa (Quapaw), Chikasha (Chickasaw), Illini, and Báxoǰe (Ioway), among others who were/are impacted by removals, reservations, and colonial borders.

In acknowledging these peoples and their ancestrally connected lands and waters, it is important to recognize that our ability to have a university here, and to live and work here, is due to colonialist policies and the practices of genocide and cultural erasure. It is also due to the land-grant allocations bestowed upon universities, but done so by dispossession and theft of Native lands.

In making this acknowledgement, we hope to create a space, if even for a few moments, to disrupt colonizing practices and to continue making visible Native Peoples and places–historically and contemporarily–as part of our work toward tribal sovereignty, equity, and social transformation.

“Acknowledgement” attributed to Melissa Horner, doctoral student, Gus T. Ridgel Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Missouri–Columbia (2019 – present); amended and edited by Blatchford Scholars committee (Honors College).

Eligibility Requirements

The Blatchford award is open only to Native American students who can document either tribal membership or provide a CDIB card; recipients must have a minimum ACT composite score of 28 or an SAT score of 1300.

Enrollment and successful progress toward completion in the Honors College is required throughout the duration of the scholarship. Students will be expected to maintain a minimum GPA to continue receiving the award.


Award

Recipients of the Blatchford Scholarship receive:

A scholarship of at least $2,000 a year, renewable for a total of up to four years and, if needed, a waiver of out-of-state tuition.

Students will also participate in research or artistry program for your first year, with possible renewal for a second year, and join with our other Scholars & Fellows cohorts for workshops and leadership seminars, to lay the groundwork for academic and co-curricular success.

Recipients are eligible to receive National Merit, Bright Flight Scholarships, and certain other general University Scholarships, including the Curators Scholars Award, Excellence Award, Chancellor’s Scholarship, Mizzou Scholars Award, or others, as eligible; this award may not be combined with other Honors College Scholars & Fellows Awards.


Application

The application deadline is December 1.

In order to ensure consideration, interested applicants should apply for admission to MU and admission into the Honors College (a subsequent process once you have been admitted to MU) by submitting official transcripts, official test scores (directly from test score providers), an essay, and a resume, all no later than December 15.

In order to be considered for this award you will also need to submit the following:

  1. A copy of your Tribal Membership Card of a federally recognized tribal nation or your Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB).
  2. An essay response of between 1000-1250 words (this is in addition to the required essay for Honors admission) to the following question: In what ways will you use your education to further the goals and mission of your tribe and the standing of Native American peoples throughout the United States? Be sure that your answer speaks to your intellectual, critical-thinking, community and civic engagement, and/or leadership capacities, as these are the primary traits we are looking for in our future Blatchford Scholars.

Send all additional materials to the Director of the Honors College: bowersjd@missouri.edu.


Interview

Once applications are closed, a committee of faculty and administrators will review and evaluate every application to select the most distinguished individuals from across the various Nations, tribal communities, and lands.

As the first step in that process, we will invite a select number of candidates to participate in a video interview process in late December/early January, in which candidates will be invited to answer several questions with recorded answers to each question. Once those recorded answers are reviewed and the results are tabulated in combination with our initial review results, we will select several semi-finalists to be interviewed for the scholarship.

Blatchford candidates are interviewed by a committee of Honors College faculty, students, alumni, and friends, and will include individuals who are tribal members. In 2021 these interviews will be conducted virtually. Each interview is 30 minutes in length. Interviewers have access to the applicant’s academic record of achievement and all essays submitted throughout the scholarship process.

Students who meet the eligibility requirements and favorably impress the interviewers may be asked to submit additional information in support of the Blatchford Scholarship application.

Enrollment and successful progress toward completion in the Honors College is required throughout the duration of the scholarship. Students will be expected to maintain a minimum GPA to continue receiving the award.

For additional information about the Blatchford Scholarship and application procedures, please contact Dr. J.D. Bowers, Director of the Honors College, at BowersJD@missouri.edu. Otherwise, please visit the program’s website at https://honors.missouri.edu/blatchford-scholars/.


Impact

The students who have been selected as Blatchford Scholars have left a significant legacy at Mizzou, both through their academic and co- and extra-curricular achievements.

Their insights and contributions of Blatchford Scholars to Mizzou’sFDLogo campus community, the climate of tolerance and diversity, and the evolving relationship and historical understandings and obligations to our Native peoples, has been incomparable.

Through this scholarship it is hoped that we can give back to our Native peoples and assist our students in their success.

 


Current Blatchford Scholars

  • Kelsi Glover (Class of 2024)
    Neosho, MO
  • Sydney Hackwell (Class of 2021)
    Miami, OK

Important Links

Four Directions: Indigenous Peoples and Allies

Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity

Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor

“MU adds Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor” in The Maneater Feb 2017.

Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

University of Missouri Global Brigades