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The Morehead-Cain Foundation — home of the oldest, most prestigious merit scholarship program in the United States — will welcome 48 new scholars to UNC-Chapel Hill this fall.

The class of 2017 will include:

  • 23 scholars from North Carolina high schools;
  • 17 American scholars outside of North Carolina;
  • One scholar from Kenya;
  • One scholar from Italy;
  • Three British scholars; and
  • Three Canadian scholars.

Since its founding in 1945, the Morehead-Cain has been a model for countless merit scholarships throughout the United States, including the University of Virginia’s Jefferson Scholars Program; Duke University’s Benjamin N. Duke Scholars Program; and Emory University’s Woodruff Scholars Program.

In addition to covering all expenses for four years of undergraduate study at UNC, the Morehead-Cain features a distinctive program of summer enrichment experiences. Over four summers, scholars have the opportunity to complete an outdoor leadership course, carry out public service in the United States or abroad, conduct research at sites across the world and gain experience in private enterprise.

The summer enrichment program, designed to broaden each scholar’s experience and worldview, is complemented during the academic year by a Discovery Fund that encourages deeper exploration of a particular interest. From attending development conferences in Geneva to shadowing emergency room doctors in Boston, Morehead-Cain Scholars are given the resources to pursue educational opportunities wherever they find them.

As set out in the program’s founding documents, selection criteria for the Morehead-Cain are leadership, academic achievement, moral force of character and physical vigor. Morehead-Cain recipients are chosen solely on the basis of merit and accomplishment, not financial need.

Currently, more than 220 Morehead-Cain Scholars study on campus, making outstanding contributions across the full range of University life. From student government to community service to the performing arts, Morehead-Cain Scholars play a prominent role in Carolina’s vibrant student community.

In the past 10 years, 13 Morehead-Cain Scholars have won Rhodes Scholarships to England’s Oxford University, one of the world’s most competitive and prestigious awards for graduate study. Since the first Morehead Scholars graduated from Carolina in 1957, 30 of UNC’s 33 Rhodes Scholars have been Morehead-Cain graduates.

Read more, including the list of new Morehead-Cain Scholars.

Published May 3, 2013.