Bonner Scholars Program

First Year Cookout for Bonner Scholars

What does it mean to be a Bonner Scholar? 

At Emory & Henry, we believe students have the skills, knowledge, and creativity to be active and engaged citizens who make a difference in the lives of people and places now. They don’t have to wait until graduating college.

As part of their academic journey, Bonner Scholars make a significant commitment during their time as college students to use their unique gifts and talents to make the world a better place. In the Bonner Scholars Program, we take seriously our relationships to each other, to our neighbors, and to Southwest Virginia and the larger world.

The Bonner Scholars program is not about volunteer hours. Students are involved in long term civic engagement projects that result in tangible outcomes for the community while connecting their classroom experience with real world questions and issues. In this way, Bonner Scholars play a key role in the historic mission of the College to connect learning with civic responsibility.

How do I become a Bonner Scholar?

We admit between 15-20 Bonners each academic year. Students who qualify should demonstrate financial need as well as a commitment to civic engagement. The primary purpose of the Bonner Scholarship Program is to expand access to a high quality four-year education.

For students who are admitted into the Bonner Scholarship Program, Emory & Henry commits to assembling a financial aid package of grants, scholarships, and loans that meet 100% of a Bonner’s demonstrated financial need. Demonstrated financial need is based on the FAFSA (Federal Application for Free Student Aid) and can vary depending on citizenship status.

Apply to be a Bonner Scholar

Established in 1991 by the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, Inc., of Princeton, New Jersey, the Bonner Scholars Program is the premier scholarship program at Emory & Henry College. 

Hear what current students say about the Bonner Program on the Bonner Podcast

As a Bonner Scholar, you get to…

  • Form lasting bonds and friendships on campus and in the local community

  • Develop leadership skills on campus and beyond

  • Explore your passions through civic engagement projects 

  • Travel domestically and abroad 

  • Fund your education at Emory & Henry

  • Receive help paying off your student loans when you graduate

As a Bonner Scholar, you will…

  • Attend New Bonner Orientation to meet and get to know other Bonners in your class

  • Be involved in a wide range of projects in the community

  • Participate in regular group reflection and project team meetings

  • Create a civic engagement e-portfolio that showcases your experiences and the skills you will develop 

  • Complete projects during the summer at an agency of your choosing

Common Commitments of the Bonner Program:

The Bonner Program has identified six common commitments in service. These common commitments serve as a guide for helping us deepen our service experiences and become more effective agents of change.

  • Social Justice: Advocating for fairness, impartiality, and equality while addressing systemic social and environmental issues.
  • Civic Engagement: Participating intentionally as a citizen in the democratic process, actively engaging in public policy and direct services.
  • Community-Building: Establishing and sustaining a vibrant community of place, personal relationships, and common interests.
  • Spiritual Exploration: Exploring personal beliefs, values, and spirituality encountered in service while respecting the practices of others.
  • International Understanding: Developing international understanding that enables individuals to participate in a global society.
  • Diversity: Respecting and engaging the many different dimensions of diversity in our public lives.