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Luce Scholars Program

What is the Luce Scholars Program?

The Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship program launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society.

The program is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had limited experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia. Those who already have significant experience in Asia or Asian studies are not eligible for the Luce Scholars Program. 

The program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year, and welcomes applications from college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals in a variety of fields who have had limited exposure to Asia. 

Placements may be made in the following countries or regions: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

What it Takes: Eligibility
  • Candidates must be U.S. citizens who would not have reached their 30th birthday by July 1st of the year they enter the program.
  • Candidates must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree or reasonably expect to receive that degree by July 1st of the year they enter the program.
  • Candidates must be in physical health that will not restrict them from working in a foreign environment. 
  • Candidates need not presently be on campus or formally affiliated with the nominating institution. They may be selected from graduating seniors, graduate or professional students currently at the nominating institution, from recent alumni, or others the nominating institution deems appropriate. 
  • The program is intended for young leaders who have had limited experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia. Those who already have significant experience in Asia or Asian studies are not eligible for the Luce Scholars Program.
  • Candidates may have taken Asian language or Asia-focused courses on a U.S. campus (without majoring in Asian Studies). They may have spent up to a total of eight weeks, or have participated in a university-organized summer program, in one or more countries where Luce Scholars are placed.
  • Candidates should have a record of high achievement, outstanding leadership ability, and clearly defined interests with evidence of potential for professional accomplishments. All fields will be considered.
  • The Luce Scholars Program is experiential rather than academic in nature. Personal qualities such as flexibility, adaptability, creativity, humility, openness to new ideas, and sensitivity to cultural differences are as important as academic achievement.
  • Candidates are not judged on the basis of whether or not they have developed specific plans for their Asian experience. A candidate may have general ideas about the kind of placement preferred, but this is not considered as either a negative or positive factor.
  • Luce Scholars are chosen without regard to sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background, marital status, or financial need.

Request a Luce questi0nnaire here.  Completing this questinnaire and discussing your responses with a Peer Scholarship Advisor will help you as you work on your application.

  • October 10 (Friday) - One hard copy of the application is due to the Charles Center by 12 p.m. Access the application here. In addition to the biographic information form, applicants must submit the personal statement, official transcripts from all universities attended, four letters of recommendation, and two photos.
  • The campus selection committee reviews applications and may conduct interviews in order to select up to three William and Mary nominees. The decisions of the selection committee are final.
  • Nominees will have some time to fine tune their applications.
  • October 23  (Thursday) - Nominees must submit their complete and final applications to the Charles Center by 12 p.m.
  • October 24 (Friday) - Lisa Grimes submits the nominations to the Luce Foundation.
  • A representative of the Luce Foundation will conduct a personal interview with each nominee in November and December in person at a location convenient to both the nominee and the Foundation or via skype or telephone.
  • Early in January, approximately 45 finalists will be selected from the total pool of nominees. They will be invited to appear, at Foundation expense, before one of the three regional selection committees that meet in early February. Each committee interviews eighteen finalists, and each selects six Luce Scholars.
  • Mid-February - The fifteen to eighteen Luce Scholars will have been named.

See this page for more information on the program.  Questions? Email the W&M Luce Scholar Liaison [[lmgrim, Lisa Grimes]].

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