The 1950 Scholar Fund for Excellence believes in the power of education and that even one family member with an education can benefit all members of a family. The 1950 Scholar Fund is committed to continuously improving the experience and outcomes for underserved and underrepresented students at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The 1950 Scholar Fund for Excellence was established by St. Louis area African-American Alumni of the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The Fund is in honor of the memory of those denied admission to the University of Missouri-Columbia prior to the 1950 admission of Gus T. Ridgel along with eight other African-American students, who successfully sued for admittance to the University of Missouri-Columbia. This was during “separate but equal” and before Brown v Board decision in 1954. Dr. Ridgel became the first African-American student to graduate in 1951, earning his Master’s Degree in Economics.
The mission of the 1950 Scholar Fund for Excellence is to remove financial barriers to educational matriculation for current MU students with at least 30 credit hours who are identified members of underrepresented ethnic minority race groups.