Knight-Hennessy Scholars announces new scholars in its 2021 cohort representing 26 countries and 37 graduate degree programs at Stanford

STANFORD, Calif., May 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program ( at Stanford University announced its 2021 cohort of 76 new scholars, with students from 26 countries, pursuing degrees in 37 graduate degree programs across all seven of Stanford’s graduate schools. The 76 new scholars will be joined by five scholars deferring from 2020, bringing the cohort size to 81. Profiles of the 2021 Knight-Hennessy Scholars are here ( and summary statistics are here (PDF LINK).

Denning House. Photo Credit: Henrik Kam

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program cultivates and supports a highly engaged, multidisciplinary and multicultural community of graduate students from across Stanford University, and delivers a diverse collection of educational experiences, preparing graduates to address complex challenges facing the world. Knight-Hennessy Scholars participate in the King Global Leadership Program and receive up to three years of financial support to pursue a graduate degree program in any of Stanford’s seven graduate schools.

“At a time when humanity faces difficult challenges ranging from the pandemic to climate change to racial justice, we are delighted to welcome a set of scholars determined to contribute to finding solutions and making a better world,” said John L. Hennessy, president emeritus and the Shriram Family Director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program.

The program strives to develop transformational leaders who have a strong cross-cultural perspective, create a bold vision for the future, inspire others through their words and actions, and are committed to a greater good. The King Global Leadership Program provides a collection of community building experiences, interactive workshops, meetings with global leaders, and personal development opportunities.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Stanford University

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program has no quotas or restrictions based on region, college or university, field of study, or career aspiration. Among new 2021 scholars, 57% are women and 46% hold a passport from a non-U.S. country. Fifty-six percent of U.S. scholars identify as a person of color, and 11% have served in the U.S. military. The scholars earned undergraduate degrees at 16 international and 32 U.S. institutions. Twenty percent are the first in their family to attend college.

The inaugural cohort enrolled in 2018, and the fourth cohort brings the total scholar count to 270 to date. The program will eventually increase the intake of scholars to 100 per year. Scholars are selected based on their demonstration of independence of thought, purposeful leadership, and a civic mindset. “Each scholar is selected to add a unique perspective to the cohort, contributing to a highly multicultural and multidisciplinary community,” said Tina Seelig, Executive Director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program.

The application for the 2022 cohort will open August 1 and is due October 6. The program offers online information sessions to describe the community, program, and admission process.

About Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Announced in 2016, the program is named for Phil Knight, MBA ’62, philanthropist and co-founder of Nike Inc., and John Hennessy, chairman of Alphabet Inc. and president of Stanford (2000-2016). Knight-Hennessy Scholars is the largest fully endowed graduate fellowship in the world.

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