History - 2000s

2002-2003 - Staff Changes and National Conversations.

Mrs. Dorothy Elliott retires in December 2002, and Mrs. Laura Stephenson becomes Assistant Director of the Program in August 2003. Following the retirement, Mrs. Elliott continues to assist the Program as Director of Alumni. Additionally, the national conversation concerning programs with minorities as the designated recipients grows louder.

During summer 2003, the Supreme Court ruled on two cases involving the use of race in undergraduate (Gratz) and graduate admissions (Grutter) at the University of Michigan. Despite the Grutter ruling, in which the Court upheld the use of race because it was used in reviewing a holistic picture of a candidate, there would be a national ripple effect for programs such as Ervin. Based on their interpretation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Center for Equal Opportunity and the American Civil Rights Institute in fall 2003 wrote 100 colleges and universities including Washington University asking those institutions to end scholarship programs designated for minority students. Because of a 1994 statement from the Office for Civil Rights that provided legal guidelines for the continuation of programs such as the Ervin Program, Washington University chose initially not to modify the Ervin Program.


2004 - Program Opens to All

In April 2004, Washington University announces that it will revise the criteria used to select scholarship recipients for the Ervin Scholars Program. The Program continues to foster a richly diverse educational atmosphere. It is now open to all students who are dedicated to academic excellence, community service, especially in need, leadership, and diversity. 


2007 - 20th Anniversary

The Ervin Scholars Program celebrates 20 years - "Living the Legacy". Wilmetta Toliver-Diallo, Assistant Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, begins to assist with the Program. In 2009, Dean Adrienne Glore retires from the University, but remains active with the Program. 






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