"Rep the T": What It's Like to be a Turner Scholar
“Go where you have never been.
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
- C. Sagan
Who is Darwin T. Turner?
Darwin T. Turner is the youngest student to receive a degree from the University of Cincinnati.
After receiving his bachelor's degree at the age of 16 in 1947, he went on to earn a master's degree in English from the University of Cincinnati in 1949 and a doctorate in English and American Dramatic Literature from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Turner taught at several outstanding colleges and universities and is considered a leading writer, editor and critic of African American literature.
The Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program is one of the oldest diversity scholarship programs in the country. Since its establishment in 1976 as a summer collegiate experience for 20 rising high school seniors from Cincinnati Public Schools, the scholarship program evolved to assist academically talented students of color at the university. The program continues to widen its reach yet remains focused as an investment in the limitless potential of young people.
The Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program has graduated more than eight hundred students who are now UC alumni worldwide.
A Student-Centered Approach
The Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program strives to address the varying backgrounds, experiences and needs of a diverse student population. The Turner Scholars Program is structured specifically to provide modular experiences for each class, to ensure the successful enrichment and retention of students through all years of college.
During the freshman year, Turner students attend weekly seminars to assist with the transition from high school to college. Topics include becoming acquainted with the university environment, interpersonal communication, study skills, time and stress management, and test-taking strategies.
Sophomores continues their focus on academics and explore topics such as networking, public speaking, leadership development and cultural competency. The junior year begins another type of transition where students are offered workshops ranging from etiquette to resume writing and building a professional presence.
A student’s senior year prepares for the next phase of life. Organized activities are directed to specific dates by which to apply for employment or graduate school, the importance of alumni involvement, maintaining commitments to community service and volunteerism, and scheduling exit interviews and other end-of-college-career activities.
Throughout all years, the program also maintains a focus on civic engagement. Every Turner Scholar participates in 30 hours of community service, is a member of at least one student organization, and in involved in a fund-raising activity. Whether tutoring elementary school students, working in a homeless shelter, or participating in Relay for Life, Turner Scholars understand that they must carry the baton as the next generation of leaders.
The Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program is very much a community of learners. Through peer reinforcement and staff assistance, the undergraduate years allow scholars to maintain a sense of efficacy and motivation while providing an avenue for exploration and skill enhancement in support of their academic goals.
"Diversity is broadening your horizons."
Elizabeth A. Delozier
Industrial Management '14
"Diversity is leadership."
Sophmore Communication Major
"My first year here at UC as a member of the Turner family has been such a warm and loving experience. If I have learned anything from this short time, it’s that learning and sharing with others is what builds long lasting friendships...Through sharing cultures and learning from experiences, I have developed a strong appreciation for UC’s diversity and an even stronger appreciation for its sense of community."
Sophmore Turner Scholar