The Stephen W. Keller Memorial Scholarship serves to honor Stephen W. Keller, Davidson ‘94 and his contribution to international understanding and friendship, especially between the points of Davidson College, Germany and Greece.

Accordingly the scholarship is a grant that must be used to support a student’s in-depth engagement with German or Greek culture, language, and life.

Love, Friendship & Loss Inspire Scholarship Stephen W. Keller's Legacy

The Stephen W. Keller Memorial Scholarship comes with few rules: Travel abroad and immerse yourself in another culture. Foster international friendships. And correspond with and try to visit Keller’s widow and children, who live in a picturesque coastal town in Greece, serve fresh, local food and welcome Davidson travelers like long-lost family members. Learn more about how the memorial scholarship came to be.

Read the Full College News Story

Scholarship Conditions

  1. Participate in a Study Abroad Program.   The recipient must participate for a semester or a year in a Davidson-approved study abroad program in a German-speaking country or in another group or independent program normally in Germany or Greece or elsewhere in the classical world that is similar in experience, scope and spirit to a semester or year-long Davidson-approved program. Students who don't meet this condition must contact the Dean Rusk International Studies office before applying.
  2. Undertake at least one additional month of Independent Experiential Travel and Study.  The recipient must use the grant to undertake at least a month of independent experiential study, travel, and engagement with local culture in Greece and/or Germany beyond the scheduled semester or two-semester academic program; different programs with different calendars are acceptable pending approval. 
  3. Connect with the Keller Family. The recipient must correspond with the Keller family (Stephen Keller’s widow Elena, and their children George and Kate) before and after the scholarship period.  Ideally the recipient will visit with the Keller family in Xanthi, Greece.
  4. Agree in a Spirit of Commitment to Mutual Understanding and Engagement. The recipient must accept the grant award only in a spirit of commitment to mutual international understanding and engagement between Davidson College and the wider world, such as that which was embodied by Stephen Keller in his life.

Applying for the Grant

For this grant, each student is required to complete the following steps:

  1. Contact the Dean Rusk International Studies Program Director, Jane Mangan, at
  2. Applications are due February 1 for summer proposals. If you want to use this scholarship during your spring semester abroad and need to apply earlier in the year, contact the Dean Rusk International Studies Program.
  3.  Submit a single essay specifically addressing the aims and spirit of the Keller Scholarship. The essay takes the form of a letter addressed to the Keller family and should include something about your own biography, your aims for studying abroad in Germany, Greece, or elsewhere in the classical world, and your ideas about life-long engagement with foreign cultures.  Also, include your study abroad program as well as your proposed dates of travel for the Keller Scholarship.  If you are a recipient of this scholarship, your letter will be sent to the Keller family.
  4. Complete a travel grant budget report.


2025 Stephen W. Keller Memorial Scholarship will be available when the spring grant cycle opens at the close of the fall cycle, with an application deadline of February 1, 2025.

To start your application, use Submittable.

Emma Cardwell '17 by coast at Mykonos Island, Greece

Something my host mom in Berlin said to me. . .stuck with me throughout my travels. . . She said, 'Ich glaube, du bist unsicher. Aber du hast es schon verdient. Du hast mehr Mut, als du denkst. Du darfst nicht im Zweifel sein.' My host mom was trying to tell me that I should refuse to doubt myself. . .I learned that there is no room for worry when you have places to see and cultures to dive into.

Emma Cardwell '17, 2016 Keller Fellow