Award Honors Black Students
New scholarship launched in memory of two students killed in car accident
Published on April 16, 2007
Ten years ago, a tragic car accident cut short the lives of then-juniors Deshaun R. Hill ’99 and Harvard C. N. Stephens ’99. Some members of the Class of 1999 and their families launched a scholarship today to honor their memory and contributions as undergraduates.
The Deshaun Hill and Harvard Stephens Scholarship will award two $500 grants to Harvard students who share similar backgrounds to the former students. Black sophomores and juniors, particularly those concentrating in mathematics or the sciences, are eligible, and dedication to community service and financial need will also be considered during the selection process.
Taj J. Clayton ’99, who was a blockmate of both Hill and Stephens, said these factors reflect the backgrounds and values that the men shared.
“They were two African-Americans who concentrated in technical disciplines, and they were both profoundly committed to community service and the plight of the disadvantaged,” said Clayton, who is also director of outreach for the non-profit organization created to sponsor the scholarship.
Various former classmates as well as the parents of Hill and Stephens donated their time or money to the establishment of the award, according to scholarship director Alex P. Kellogg ’99, who was a close friend of Hill and Stephens.
“This was an idea that I know was in my son’s heart, and I’m so happy to see it being fulfilled, ” said Barbara Nabrit-Stephens ’72, the mother of Stephens and an advisor to the non-profit. She added that while he was alive, her son often spoke about his plans to establish a scholarship for African-Americans at Harvard.
President of the Black Men’s Forum Charles J. Hamilton III ’07 said the scholarship is a unique opportunity for black students.
“I truly believe that this is a meaningful addition, particularly in that it focuses on promoting the success of African-Americans within math and science—concentrations which have historically not been home to many in Harvard’s black community,” Hamilton said of the scholarship.
The award is one of the few outside scholarships at Harvard that targets black students as its recipients, according to Kellogg.
The deadline to apply for the scholarship is June 1.