Donald F. Graham Leadership Scholarship

Scholarship Background

Donald F. Graham, one of the Grahams for whom Defoe-Graham Hall is dedicated, served students through Residential Life for over 40 years. Mr. Graham was hired as a Personnel Assistant (a student staff member) in 1956 after serving in the U.S. Air Force. As a student, Mr. Graham was a resident of Graham Hall and played on the King House bowling team.

After graduation, Mr. Graham remained with Residential Life and retired as the Associate Director in 1997. He helped establish the MU Chapter of Men’s Residence Halls Association (the predecessor to RHA) in 1957 and was a charter member of MU’s Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics Booster Club (coincidentally, the first in the nation) in 1975. He was tapped by QEBH in 1972 and received the Mick Deaver Award in 1982. Most importantly, Mr. Graham fostered caring, educational and fun relationships with students and staff. Student staff remember him as being someone you could go to for advice and who would provide firm, realistic feedback, someone who would take a chance on you, someone who would teach you principles you would use throughout your own career.

Residential Life and the Graham family are pleased to award a scholarship in Mr. Graham’s memory. The Donald F. Graham Leadership Scholarship is an endowed scholarship awarded to students who have made outstanding contributions to their residence hall community at the University of Missouri. The scholarship provides recognition to a student who has gone above and beyond normal expectations, contributing significantly to their community within the residence hall while maintaining academic excellence in their course of study.

This $3,000 scholarship will be awarded annually to an undergraduate student enrolled at the University of Missouri. The non-renewable award will be issued only to a student who currently resides in a residence hall and who will reside in a residence hall the following year. In the event the student is unable or unwilling to meet this residency requirement, the award will be forfeited. While students who hold student staff positions (Resident Advisors or Desk Student Supervisors) currently or next year are encouraged to apply, primary consideration will be given to students not holding these positions.


Before applying, read all requirements, timeline and waiver details below.


  • Be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours each semester during the award period
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  • Have lived in the residence halls for at least one full semester (including this semester)
  • Failure to remain enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, to maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and/or to live in the residence halls throughout the year the scholarship is awarded will result in forfeiture of the scholarship award for the rest of the school year.
  • Serve on the following year’s scholarship review committee
  • Write thank-you notes to those who have donated to the scholarship during the applicable year


  • Applications must be submitted to Residential Life by May 31.
  • The scholarship committee will meet over the summer to select the recipient.
  • The recipient will be notified by email no later than July 31.

FERPA waiver

The family of Donald F. Graham, the namesake for this scholarship, will assist with selecting the recipient of this leadership scholarship; the current recipient may also assist with selection. Therefore, applicants will need to agree to allow us to share your academic records with the scholarship committee by checking the appropriate box on the FERPA waiver page of the application form.

About the application

  • Once you accept the FERPA waiver, you will be able to complete the application.
  • You will share some basic academic information about yourself.
  • You will list your residence hall and general student involvement (both volunteer and paid positions). Be prepared to share details about offices held, dates of involvement, achievements and specific contributions.
  • You will also answer each of the following questions (250 words or less per answer):
    • Why do you need this scholarship?
    • How has your participation with your residence hall community helped you develop leadership skills at Mizzou?
    • In what activities do you plan to participate in the coming year, and why?
  • Finally, you will need a letter of recommendation from a Residential Life staff member – such as an Assistant Director, Area Administrative Support, Residence Hall Coordinator, Resident Advisor or Desk Student Supervisor.
    • The letter should address 1-2 of the following questions:
      • How is the residence hall community better because this student lived here?
      • What have been this student’s key contributions to the residence hall community?
      • How do you anticipate this student will impact the residence hall community next academic year?
    • The person writing the letter should email it directly to Tracy Sill ( by May 31.


Questions may be addressed and recommendation letters submitted to:

Tracy Sill
Donald F. Graham Scholarship Coordinator
0780 Defoe-Graham
(573) 882-5396