Update: After speaking with her family and the Sky Alland Scholarship Committee, Herre has decided to use the scholarship to pay for her fifth year, during which she will pursue a master's degree in Urban and Environmental Planning. The Jefferson Scholarship does not cover this fifth year.
Caroline Herre, third-year College student and Jefferson Scholar, will be the 21st recipient of the highly acclaimed Sky Alland scholarship, the Sky Alland Foundation announced Tuesday.
Herre, who is majoring in Economics and pursuing a two-year master's degree in Urban and Environmental Planning, is also a Resident Advisor in first-year dorms, a member of the University Guide Service and vice chair for education for the Honor Committee. She also plays a role in various sustainable food organizations on and off Grounds, such as the Community Garden.
“[I’m] so incredibly honored to have won,” Herre said. “Overall, I still can't believe it. Winning the scholarship — I’m speechless.”
As Herre already receives full tuition as part of the Jefferson Scholarship, she plans to decline the monetary gift.
“I intended to not take the money and give it back to the scholarship,” Herre said. “But just having won the scholarship because a committee of [Sky Alland’s] friends thinks I embody his spirit is incredible.”
Molly Bass, Director of U.Va Fund Scholarships and Endowments, explained in an email Herre’s selection was a decision made by a comittee of nine student leaders, selected by University Dean of Students Allen Groves.
“[They] reviewed more than 40 nominations,” Bass said. “The students narrowed it down to six finalists. The other five finalists, equally outstanding, were awarded a $1,000 scholarship.”
University alum Kent Sullivan, chair of the Sky Alland Scholarship Committee, said there has been only one other time in the 21-year history of scholarship when the recipient of the award had already been on a full scholarship.
“We’ve had one that happened before in the 21 years and we ended up splitting [the cost of attendance] with the other scholarship that was involved,” Sullivan said. “This year, the Jefferson Scholars, they pretty well insist on doing that.”
While Sullivan has not confirmed this with Herre, he said there is speculation she may be spending a fifth year at the University to complete a master’s program. If this is the case, Sullivan said the Sky Alland Scholarship might be deferred to her fifth year where she would not be receiving aid from the Jefferson Scholar program.
“There is some suggestion that [Herre] may be around for a fifth year,” Sullivan said. “If that’s the case that may be any easy answer for us, but we’ll work something out with her.”
Sullivan said the Scholarship Committee does not look at financial need when determining a winner. Instead, he said the committee seeks to find the most qualified nominee who displays leadership, enterprising spirit, achievement, humility and devotion.
“We do not look at anybody’s financial status in any regard in selecting the winner,” Sullivan said.
Brianna Hogan, third-year College student and scholarship finalist, concluded the experience was uniquely valuable.
“It’s one [of] the highest compliments I could have received,” Hogan said. “I was incredibly honored to be nominated. It was also all around an incredible experience.”
The scholarship is offered in honor of J. Schuyler “Sky” Alland, who had attended the Commerce School as part of the class of 1979, before being tragically murdered.
The Scholarship is awarded to a rising fourth-year undergraduate student who wholly “exemplifies the characteristics of leadership, achievement, enterprising spirit, humility and devotion to the University,” the Foundation noted in the press release.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified J. Schuyler Alland as J. Schuyler Allen, and said Herre is currently minoring in Landscape and is a senior support officer with Honor.