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 in German-speaking central Europe or in the Classical World: 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. 
    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.

    Scholarship Application

    Students already accepted to an approved study abroad program will be offered the opportunity to apply. The application consists of two parts.

    1. The first part is the applicant’s already-extant study abroad application for the program (for Germany or Classics Abroad): this will be on file in the Dean Rusk offices and contains the normal information forms, transcript, letters of recommendation from faculty, and whatever essays are required by the specific study abroad program.
    2. The second part is 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 the applicant’s own biography, the applicant’s aims for studying abroad in Germany and/or Greece, and about the applicant’s ideas about life-long engagement with foreign cultures. The successful applicant's letter will be sent to the Keller family.

    Send the application letter and a statement outlining your study abroad plans and program dates; note the times you plan to make use of the Keller Scholarship (at least four weeks total).

    Scholarship Deadlines

    Fall Semester

    Spring Semester

    Summer Program

    March 15 for students students studying abroad fall semester

    Nov. 15 for students studying abroad spring semester

    March 15 (or a rolling deadline for exceptional cases when students are abroad on credit-granting programs)


    Students interested should contact, in a single email, the Director of the Dean Rusk Program Daniel Crocker at, the Chair of German Studies and the Chair of Classics.

    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 Feller