The Witherspoon Scholarship is an endowed scholarship made possible by the generous donation of Margaret E. and Douglas F. Witherspoon whose daughters, Laura ('12) and Catherine ('17) were members of the JMU Honors College.

Each summer, one scholarship of $4,000 will be available for a student who seeks to complete an immersive summer research experience with a mentor, on- or off-campus. The student can be assisting with an ongoing faculty project as long as the student has ample opportunity for growth and development. The funding is designed to directly support student expenses, including (but not limited to) summer living expenses, research costs, travel, stipend, etc. Funding will be disbursed as a scholarship; students must therefore be enrolled in at least 1 summer credit (they can enroll in 1 Honors credit for the summer if needed; they may use part of the Witherspoon to cover this credit, as needed).

The Witherspoon Scholars must be Honors College students in good standing completing their first or second year at James Madison University. They must demonstrate a strong interest and desire to study within the field of research or scholarly activity proposed by a faculty member.

Awards will rotate: a three-year period is required before awards can be made again to students engaged in research or scholarly activity in a particular college. Students engaged in research in the College of Science and Mathematics are not eligible during this cycle.


The Witherspoon Scholarship completely changed my summer plans. It helped me with my scientific and personal growth. The ways in which it impacted me will never be forgotten.

Deaquan Nichols, Biophysical Chemistry and Independent Scholars, 2021 recipient

2022 Awards: Apply

Deadline: March 4, 2022

Application materials

  1. The student should complete the student application.
  2. The faculty mentor should complete the faculty application.
  3. Together, the student and faculty mentor should complete and sign the budget request.

All documents should be sent in PDF format to Jared Diener in the Honors College. As long as all sections of the application are received by the above deadline, they do not need to arrive together (the student and the faculty member may submit their sections separately should the faculty member wish to keep their section confidential).

Questions? Please contact Felix Wang in the Honors College.

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