Bicentennial Scholars

Bicentennial Scholars

SIF73, SIF157, SIF172, SIF184, and SIF189 Bicentennial Scholars

Project Manager: Mark Luellen

Bicentennial Scholars Fund

The purpose of this project is to build an endowment for student scholarships at UVA and UVA-Wise.

Approved: December 2016 (first award of $100M), August 2018 (second award of $100M), December 2020 (third award of $30M), September 2021 (fourth award of $50M), January 2023 (fifth award of $35M), April 2023 (award reduced $4M, reallocated to Bicentennial Professors award).

Project Start Date: 12/21/2016

Total Funding: $311,000,000

The Bicentennial Scholars Fund makes a bold statement to the Commonwealth and the nation that UVA is committed to affordability, and that access and excellence need not be mutually exclusive. With an investment of up to $200 million over five years, the Bicentennial Scholars Program will match philanthropic commitments designated for new endowed need- and merit-based scholarships for undergraduate students. This investment will continue the University’s tradition of affordability and access for qualified students from all walks of life.

Current Status: Active


  • Bicentennial Scholars Fund Initiative created in December 2016 with $100 million in matching funds allocated. The signature program increases access and affordability for undergraduate students with financial need, and for merit-based scholarships.
  • First matching allocation completed by June 2018.
  • Additional $100 million in matching funds allocated in August 2018, and another $30 million allocated in December 2019.
  • University Achievement Awards and Blue Ridge Scholarships introduced in December 2020 as new scholarship matching opportunities. Both programs share goals of fostering excellence and diversity within the undergrdaute student body and encourage the success of their scholars.
  • Additional $50 million in matching funds allocated in September 2021 when the scholarship matching pool reached a point of having less than $10 million in matching funds remaining due to the enthusiasm of donors, another $31 million in matching funds allocated in January 2023.
  • To date, aliumni, parent and friends of the University have committed approximately $366 million (in signed and verbal commitments) and have leveraged approximately $259 million in matching funds for a total impact of nearly $625 million in endowed need-based and merit scholarships across the institution.
  • Total scholarship fund endowments established with funds pledged: 614