Intelligent Living
Arlan Hamilton Credit: Backstage Capital
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Entrepreneur Is Funding A New Oxford Scholarship For Black British Students

US entrepreneur, Arlan Hamilton, is funding Oxford’s first scholarship for disadvantaged black British students. Hamilton will donate over £200,000 to establish the fund, and she will also pay the tuition fees and living costs for a three-year undergraduate degree.

After announcing the scholarship, Hamilton said:

I just really want someone who didn’t, or wouldn’t, have had the opportunity to go to this university, to do so. I want them to be truly nurtured and able to focus on themselves instead of worrying about the things that, perhaps, I have had to worry about in the past – like how you are going to pay your rent.

Hamilton isn’t the only one funding black students. British musician, Stormzy, has funded two or more scholarships for black British students to attend the University of Cambridge.

The student who gets awarded the Oxford scholarship will have the opportunity to work with the Oxford Foundry, the university’s student entrepreneurship center, and will receive a grant of £3,000. This grant will enable the student to take internships and enhance their career. “I know it is going to be very competitive because there are so many wonderful, talented people in the UK. But I also know the person who receives it will truly want and deserve it. I can’t wait to meet the first student who will be the beneficiary of the scholarship,” added Hamilton

Oxford's New Scholarship For Black British Students
Oxford University’s campus grounds. Credit: Oxford University

Hamilton decided to fund the scholarship when she was taking a tour of the university after making a speech at the Oxford Foundry. While she was walking around, she noticed how beautiful and well-cared for the campus was. Hamilton loved the fact that there were so many college grounds. She thought about the history of the university and about how wonderful it must be to study there.

Hamilton said:

I saw some black people – more than I was expecting, but not as many as I would have liked. I found out more about the thoughtful work that Oxford is doing to widen access for all students and boost inclusion, and by the end of that 45-minute tour I said out loud: ‘I want to start a scholarship for black students at Oxford.’

Oxford's New Scholarship For Black British Students
Oxford University’s campus grounds. Credit: Oxford University

The director of the Oxford Foundry, Ana Bakshi, believes that diversity is suitable for many reasons, including social, economic, and progressive reasons. “It is vital that students from diverse backgrounds are supported to achieve their higher education goals and are given equal and unimpeded access to opportunities, networks, and resources,” Bakshi explained.

Hamilton didn’t go to university. Instead, she started her career as a music tour manager. She moved to San Francisco and set up a company called Backstage Capital, which specializes in supporting startups by overlooked groups. Backstage has invested over $7 million in 120 startups, since 2015.

Oxford University isn’t the only school on Hamilton’s mind to fund scholarships. She would also like to support them at Dillard University in New Orleans. When Hamilton’s mother was younger, she attended the historically black Dillard University.

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