The Hamel Scholars Program was founded in 2007 and is UNH's most prestigious scholarship award. It provides merit scholarships and special recognition to exceptional students from New Hampshire who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership, and community service.
Funded through gifts from Dana Hamel, a long-time UNH benefactor, the program supports Scholars to become active, engaged leaders in the UNH Community, building their skills and confidence to lead in communities throughout the state after graduation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Students who apply to UNH by the Early Action deadline and who qualify for the University Honors Program are invited to apply for the Hamel Scholars Program. This invitation is usually sent in January. While most Hamel Scholars are chosen before matriculating at UNH, a small number of Juniors join the program each year. Members of the University Honors Program receive an invitation to apply for this and other scholarships in March of their sophomore year.
The Hamel Scholars Program supports its students in developing their leadership skills and helping them pursue individualized leadership goals, which they identify through one-on-one advising sessions and large group whole-cohort meetings. In reaching their identified goals, Hamel Scholars may work in small teams to design and execute a brand-new initiative to help the campus or local community, or they may work as an individual to rise to a leadership role in an existing campus organization, group or community program.
The Hamel Scholars Program offers skill-building and professional-development workshops, volunteer opportunities, twice-annual Leadership Luncheons with high-profile speakers, and intimate "Teas with Trailblazers" to provide Scholars more personal conversations with leaders in a variety of arenas. Scholars are expected to participate in a select number of these opportunities each semester.
Along with the requirements above, Hamel Scholars must continue to make progress toward completion of the University Honors Program requirements.
Awards within the program range from $2,000-$10,000 per year.
New Hampshire residency is required for incoming freshmen who wish to apply to the Hamel program. However, the Hamel Program typically admits rising juniors each spring (the number of available spaces varies each year), and no in-state residency is required to be admitted through this process.
Hamel Scholars alumni are welcome and encouraged to continue their involvement post-graduation!
Our Scholars truly benefit from the support, expertise, and mentorship of our Hamel Alums. Please know that you have an open invitation to return to campus for any of our Hamel Scholars events, formal or casual.
Experts, leaders, scholars, and thinkers in all fields are encouraged to reach out to Emily Schoonmaker, Hamel Scholars Program Coordinator, to arrange a pop-up seminar or workshop, or for an invitation to chat with a small group of current Scholars at a "Tea with Trailblazers" event.