Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program

The Posse Foundation and Posse Scholars

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program

Read more about Benjamin Mays, his life, his work, and his connection to the Midwest.

To address the shortage of minority scholars on college and university campuses, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation established the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF). With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Grinnell College has established the MMUF Program for promising undergraduates considering graduate study toward the Ph.D. in selected fields. Under the terms of the Mellon grant, participation in the program is open to talented undergraduates who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. who demonstrate a commitment to diversity and to diversifying the academy. Students must be planning graduate study toward the Ph.D. in one of the following fields:  

Learn more about the program at Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program.

Please submit completed MMUF applications to Lisa Mulholland in the Academic Support Office (Mears 103). If you have questions about the application, please contact faculty coordinator Prof. Shanna Benjamin.

The Posse Foundation and Posse Scholars

The Posse Foundation's mission is to "identify recruit and train student leaders from public high schools to form multicultural teams called Posses. These teams are then prepared, through an intensive eight-month Pre-Collegiate Program, for enrollment at top-tier universities nationwide to pursue their academics and to help promote cross-cultural communication on campus. The program is rooted in the belief that a small, diverse group of talented students - a Posse - carefully selected and trained, can serve as a catalyst for increased individual and community development." Posse currently has sites in seven major cities across the United States: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, and now, Miami. The Posse Foundation has three goals:

  • To expand the pool from which top colleges and universities can recruit outstanding young leaders from diverse backgrounds.
  • To help these institutions build more interactive campus environments so that they can be more welcoming for people from all backgrounds.
  • To ensure that Posse Scholars persist in their academic studies and graduate, so they can take on leadership positions in the workforce.

The Posse program was founded in 1989 and Grinnell College has been a partner with Los Angeles for 9 years and D.C. for 7 years. Each year the college accordingly enrolls 20 new Posse Scholars. Grinnell partners with the Posse Foundation with the following goals:

  • Recruiting and retaining students who might otherwise be overlooked in the traditional admissions process.
  • Enrolling students who have demonstrated leadership and resiliency.
  • Expanding Grinnell College's definitions and understanding of diversity and inclusion.
  • Promoting cross-cultural communication and dialogues on campus and the community.

The Posse Plus Retreat

Every spring, Posse Scholars organize a "Posse Plus Retreat" that attracts students, faculty, and staff to participate in a focused discussion around common issues over the course of a weekend. The retreat includes a range of activities designed to appeal to various discussion styles and concludes with action planning to return innovative ideas and strategies back to campus. A key goal of Posse and its programs is to ensure that all discussion returns as a positive contribution to and cultural evolution at the home campus. The retreat provides an opportunity to think and share issues of diversity from a perspective that integrates the heart and mind, often a departure from the highly intellectual and intense academic environment on campus.