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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

  • Bennett Lunn sits on a bench on the historic horseshoe at USC

USC's first Samvid Scholar will fight for equity in education

Bennett Lunn, a 2020 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College, has become the university’s first alumnus to receive the Samvid Scholarship. A future attorney committed to advancing equity in education, Lunn will use the scholarship to help fund a legal degree at Columbia University School of Law.

Why it matters: The Samvid Scholarship, founded in 2021, supports future leaders and changemakers through graduate education. For Lunn, being named a scholar provides national recognition of his commitment to creating positive change in society.

What it offers:

  • $100,000 scholarship across two years of graduate school
  • Leadership training and networking at an annual retreat for scholars
  • Continued mentoring and professional development beyond the two years of funding

Lunn, who also earned the prestigious Truman Scholarship in 2019, worked at the U.S. Department of Education as Truman-Albright Fellow after graduation. He has led a technical working group on K-12 finance, performed policy research to inform pandemic recovery practices for school reopening and supported the launch of the Engage Every Student Initiative for after school and summer learning providers.

Now, he plans to use his legal degree to address civil rights issues in education. “I want to litigate school finance issues to ensure that students receive equitable access to quality public schooling,” Lunn says.

Lunn credits the national fellowship application process with helping him develop that vision. It gave him the structure to reflect on his values and experiences and synthesize them into a meaningful plan for his future.

To those considering applying for national fellowships, Lunn encourages them to get started: “Time is never wasted in thinking about your goals and values--you really have nothing to lose.”

Learn more: For more information about the Samvid Scholarship or other national fellowship opportunities, visit National Fellowships and Scholar Programs.

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