In 2006, Marquette introduced the Urban Scholars program, which offers at least five annual, full-tuition renewable scholarships to high-achieving low-income scholars with a history of leadership and service. Rooted in Marquette's tradition of increasing access to higher education, the scholarship program renews our emphasis on being inclusive and modeling a more diverse community.

The Guiding Principle: The Spirit of Dumela

The Urban Scholars Program is a community of excellence dedicated to the prosperity of its scholars and all they touch in every endeavor. To achieve any lofty goal, such as a bachelor’s degree from a prestigious university, scholars need to feel supported and support others in their “village.”  A foundational concept that guides our existence is the spirit of dumela. Dumela comes from the Sotho language (Bantu origin), which is spoken primarily in South Africa. To many, the spoken definition of dumela  is“good morning / good evening / good night.” The true essence of dumela is a spirit that allows for a deep level of acknowledgement and support. “I believe in you, I affirm you and I see the great potential in you!”

College has its trials, tribulations and inexplicable successes, and scholars need to be consistently reminded of the spirit of dumela by the university community and the support network they bring to Marquette. Urban Scholars are carefully selected from communities where support was evident, and it is our goal to continue supplying that support.