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Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement

The Clarence Shelley Scholarship

ShelleyProject 500

In the wake of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination in April of 1968, the University of Illinois made a concerted effort to recruit African American students. In the fall of that year 565 black students arrived on the Urbana campus to register for classes. They were greeted by another new face on campus, Clarence Shelley.

Shelley came to the U of I in July 1968 as the director of the Special Educational Opportunities Program (SEOP) also known at Project 500 – on loan for two years from the Detroit Board of education – and he never left.


A History of Service Rewarded

Over his 33 years of service Clarence Shelley served under four presidents and seven chancellors. He held several different titles, but they all had one thing in common – service to students.  While institutional philosophy changed over the years Shelley was more concerned with the behavior of people who had direct contact with students. He always acted as a watchdog for his students and challenged them to take responsibility for their own life.

In March of 2002 Clarence Shelley received the Chancellor’s Medallion, only the third the University of Illinois has awarded, recognizing outstanding work on behalf of the campus. The award is given to exceptional people whose contributions to the campus go beyond expectation and precedent.


Giving Back

Clarence Shelley is now adding to his legacy of support for students by instituting the Clarence Shelley Scholarship Fund under the Illinois Promise program.  Your support of this program not only honors the work of Clarence Shelley, but also supports our most financially disadvantaged students.


Learn more about the Shelley Scholarship.

Give to the Shelley Scholarship.

Learn more about undergraduate scholarships.


Donor honor roll:

Bonnie A. Agnew

M.J. Archer

Patricia & Larry Askew

Marc Augustave

Orlo B. & Cheryl W. Austin

Mary E. Beastall

David S. & Ann D. Bechtel

J. Steven & Barbara E. Beckett

Antonio B. Boyd

Dr. Robert D. Brazil

Daniel & Sonja M. Brisard

Willard Leslie & Anne Marie Broom

Jeffrey D. Burt & Tracie Y. Hudson

Harold R. Caldwell

William & Nadine Harris Clark

Michael E. Cottrell

William Cousins Jr.

Raymond Paul Eissfeldt

Colby J. Fletcher

Robert L. Gay III, MD

Robert A. Glasner & Dana Vickers Shelley

Raynard V. Hall

Robert D. Harlan

Gary W. Harper Jr.

Yolanda Harris

Edward T. Hightower

John Hill

Nikolas X. Hill

Raven L. Hill

Michael & Patricia Brown Holmes

Emmit E. & Tracey Horne

Roger S. & Mary L. Hunt

Dr. Phillip E. & Lo Lavera Jones

Dr. Diane C. Kilpatrick

Dr. Woodrow M. Knight

Robert V. & Tracey McGhee

Lester H. & Nancy C. McKeever Jr.

Sabrina L. Miller

Cater J. Minnis

Jacqueline L. Mitchell

Dr. Allen Charles Mixon III

Leslie D. Moore

Charles E. Newman

Clarence & Sharon L. Ormsby-Shelly

Esther Patt

Alexander & Regina R. Pope Jr.

Dr. Sidney A. Ribeau

Dr. Thomas A. Seals Jr. & Ruth E. Wene

James L. Shepherd, MD

Katherine Joyce Sprowl

William F. Stratton & Juliana Wiggins-Stratton

Cheryl W. Thompson

Joyce E. Tucker

Matt & Marveen Tuite

Stephen R. Wattnem

Dennis A. White

Marc P. White & Carla E. Porter-White

Michael L. & Alma M. Whitlow

Jacqueline Williams

Dr. LaMonte G. & Janise Wyche Sr.

Bank of America Foundation (matching gift)

Cater Minnis Insurance Agency Inc

Regulatory Strategies, LLC

U. S. Bancorp Foundation (Matching gift)

White, Roberts & Stratton, Inc.