First Graduate Fellowships Introduced by Foundation


The Trustees of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation took a step at their fall 1997 meeting that would be cheered by Phi graduate students. They voted to award four $2,500 graduate fellowships for the 1998–99 academic year. This $10,000 brought the scholarship/fellowship budget for the year to $100,000.

Phi Delta Theta began awarding scholarships in 1954. Until 1998, all those awards were given to undergraduates. Before the first fellowships, many graduate students would contact the Foundation to ask if they were eligible for assistance. The Trustees’ decision was based on this interest and was made possible by the generous financial support of Phi Delta Theta alumni.

The grants were for graduate study in any field. An applicant needed to be a member in good standing of Phi Delta Theta, and selection was based on academic excellence, campus and community activities, and Phi Delta Theta involvement.

Twenty-six outstanding students completed applications for the first four $2,500 awards. The judges selected a medical student and three law students to receive the first year’s fellowships:

  1. Alan Gray Bryan, University of Arkansas
  2. Jonathan C. Routh, North Carolina State University
  3. Robert Todd Sherwin, Texas Christian University
  4. Roy T. Van Brunt III, Southeast Missouri State University

Delighted by the response to the first offering of fellowships for Phi graduate students, the Foundation Trustees voted to double the number they would award in year two.