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Knight-Hennessy Scholars announces 2023 cohort of new scholars, its largest ever

Knight-Hennessy Scholars will include 85 new scholars in its sixth cohort, representing 29 countries and 38 graduate degree programs across Stanford University.
2023 Cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars
2023 Cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Stanford University today announced its 2023 cohort of 85 new scholars, the largest to date. The new cohort comprises students from 29 countries who will pursue degrees in 38 graduate programs across all seven graduate schools at Stanford. For the first time ever, the cohort includes scholars from Hungary, Malawi, the Netherlands, Russia, Sierra Leone, and Turkey.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars is a multidisciplinary, multicultural graduate scholarship program. Knight-Hennessy scholars receive up to three years of financial support to pursue graduate studies at Stanford while engaging in experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders who address complex challenges facing the world. Scholars are selected based on their demonstration of independence of thought, purposeful leadership, and a civic mindset; they span all seven schools at Stanford across all departments.

“In a world that continues to grow more complex, Knight-Hennessy scholars are building the knowledge, skills, and community needed to address our biggest challenges, from climate change to immigration to equity in health care and education — and so much more,” said John L. Hennessy, Stanford University president emeritus and the Shriram Family Director of Knight-Hennessy Scholars. “I believe these scholars will help build a better future for all of us.”

Knight-Hennessy Scholars develops emerging leaders who have a commitment to the greater good and the tools needed to drive meaningful change. The King Global Leadership Program is a core part of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars experience, offering a wide range of workshops, lectures, projects, and experiences that complement scholars’ graduate school education,  helping them reach their leadership objectives.

Among the 2023 scholars, 51 percent are female and 41 percent hold a passport from a foreign country. Sixty-three percent of U.S. scholars identify as a person of color, and 8 percent have served in the U.S. military. The scholars earned undergraduate degrees at 17 international and 38 U.S. institutions. Nineteen percent are the first in their family to graduate from college. The sixth cohort brings the total scholar count to 425 to date, beginning with the inaugural cohort enrolled in 2018.

“I am inspired by our scholars every day,” said Tina Seelig, executive director of Knight-Hennessy Scholars. “Their diversity is our strength. During their time with us KH scholars  build an incredible community that expands their world and their potential for impact. I’m so excited to welcome our 2023 cohort.”

The application for the 2024 cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars will open June 1, 2023, and is due October 11, 2023. Prospective scholars can attend online information sessions to learn about the community, the leadership development program, and the admission process. Knight-Hennessy Scholars has no quotas or restrictions based on region, college or university, field of study, or career aspiration

Knight-Hennessy Scholars received 7,119 total applications this year, an increase of 5 percent from last year's 6,742 applications. Of the total applications, 3,733 were eligible applications for the 2023 cohort. Eligible applications include those prospective scholars who submitted applications to both Knight-Hennessy Scholars as well as their Stanford degree program.

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

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