The Ossie Davis Scholars Program United Negro College Fund

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) lives up to the ideal expressed in its universally recognized motto—“A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste”®—by enabling students to attend college and get the education they need through the management of programs that provide scholarships, internships, academic support, and mentoring. Through UNCF, the Ossie Davis Legacy Award eases the financial barriers to higher education and makes higher education accessible for deserving young men and women who will contribute significantly as competent and conscientious Americans in the workforce and in our society.

The Ossie Davis Legacy Award was endowed by his friends to honor the legacy of Mr. Davis, the renowned writer, actor, activist, director, and producer. He was a well-read thinker, communicator, humorist, and humanist who influenced society and cared deeply about the world, the people, and his family. Mr. Davis’ passion for education and his commitment to young people continues through the merit-based $10,000.00 scholarship for African American students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a historically black college or university affiliated with The United Negro College Fund.

Thanks to the generous contributors to the Ossie Davis Endowment Campaign for believing that “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”®

Scholarship Award Consideration

The Ossie Davis Legacy Award will be given to students who demonstrate the ability and desire to use art as activism to proactively address the concerns of humanity. The 2018-2019 awardee will be named the Ossie Davis Centennial Scholar.
For award consideration, students must have an academic letter of recommendation from a full-time professor or college dean, a minimum GPA of 3.0, and a financial need. Students will be required to write an essay about what they learned from the activism of Ossie Davis and his peers, and connect that work to the activism of today. Students who are invited to a semi-final round, will be required to submit an electronic portfolio that reflects the student’s involvement with the arts as activism. A narrative description of the portfolio must also be included.

To apply for The Ossie Davis Legacy Award, go to the United Negro College Fund website,