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Haslam Scholars Program

The Haslam Scholars Program (HSP) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was founded in 2008 with a generous gift from Jimmy and Dee Haslam and Jim and Natalie Haslam. The program honors the legacy of the Haslam family through a highly competitive scholars’ program that develops community-minded and intellectually gifted emerging young leaders to benefit the state of Tennessee and beyond. We develop transformational learning experiences that help each Haslam scholar understand and develop their academic and leadership potential—with the ultimate goal of cultivating Tennessee’s leaders of tomorrow. 

Signature Transformational Experiences

While there are several benefits of the HSP curriculum, there are four signature programs that make the HSP experience unique.  


Scholars will have the opportunity to participate in four, one-credit-hour leadership courses. The courses below are designed to help HSP scholars understand, build, and stretch their leadership knowledge and capacity. Courses will be taught by UT faculty experts and community leaders with a keen expertisof the leadership themes. The leadership seminars may include the themes below: 

  • Leadership Development 
  • Leading through Civic Engagement 
  • Global Leadership 
  • Inclusive Leadership 
  • Leadership and Service Learning 
  • Philanthropic Leadership

These seminars address critical issues in leadership and community engagement, both of which are essential to the growth and dynamism of Tennessee in the years ahead. Within the themes, the seminars cover a broad range of topics allowing scholars to engage with leaders from corporate, government, educational, and non-profit organizations. The objective is to develop leaders who will impact their communities and the state of Tennessee. 


Each semester, Haslam Scholars are invited to a distinguished speaker lecture series on topics that impact community engagement and leadership and will enhance scholars’ knowledge and experience at UT and beyond. Speakers range from politicians, business leaders, community leaders and diplomats. Recent speakers have included Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge and US Foreign Service Officer Molly Amador.


After their first year, scholars participate as a cohort in a mini-term education abroad program in Ireland. This program is designed to help scholars explore and understand their role as global citizens, while developing a strong multicultural awareness around leadership philosophies. During this experience, scholars will engage corporate and non-profit leaders abroad, while also participating in cultural immersion activities.


After their second year, all scholars will participate in a summer internship, providing them with the opportunity to cultivate their leadership skills in a professional setting. This Tennessee-based internship will enable students to develop relationships with local firms, organizations, and policymakers, as well as with the wider community.

Additional Benefits

Taylor Washington 2020 Torchbearer

In addition to a transformative educational experience, Haslam scholars benefit from generous scholarships, including tuition, fees, and room & board. Scholars receive a paid internship and education abroad experience. Ideally, graduates of the Haslam program will be well-prepared to change the world, not just change with it. 

Our scholars are routinely recognized as Torchbearers (UT’s highest student honor), receive national scholarships and fellowships such as the Udall Scholarship, Fulbright Scholarship, and Critical Language Scholarship, complete international internships and studies abroad, and gain admission to competitive graduate and professional programs. Notably, three program alumni are Rhodes Scholars. 

Upon graduation and completion of the program, Haslam Scholars earn an honors-designated certificate. They are bestowed an honors medallion at a special Honors Commencement Ceremony held in May of each year. They also celebrate with a special commencement dinner with the Haslam family and fellow Haslam Scholars. 

Academic Expectations

Haslam Scholars develop an electronic portfolio highlighting their work and experience as an honors student. All students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and make adequate progress on the honors curricular requirements each year.