Western Michigan University’s Medallion Scholarship Program was established in 1983 with its first stipends awarded in 1984.
The program was a vision of J. Michael Kemp (1944-2003), University Trustee Emeritus. Kemp believed it was equally important to recruit academic scholars to compete in scholarship and academic recognition as it was to recruit athletes to compete in athletic competition. He additionally felt through the creation of a scholarship based exclusively on academic merit and ability the best and brightest of high school students would be attracted to the University and continue to give Western a strong academic reputation.
The Medallion Scholarship Program has had a significant impact on Western Michigan University. Approximately 50 percent of all students who participate in the yearly competition enroll at WMU. This program has also been credited in playing a significant role in increasing the academic quality of enrolling students, therefore achieving one of J. Michael Kemp’s ultimate goals.