Stanley E. Henderson, Founder of the Medallion Scholarship Competition:
The Medallion Ethic gives concrete form to Western Michigan University’s expectations for Medallion Scholars. This ethic is a spirit of commitment to excellence and leadership that challenges each Medallion Scholar to make a difference. The University does not prescribe to the Scholars which courses to take, which offices to hold, which organizations to join, or which research and creative projects to complete. However, the University insists that each Scholar find something about which he or she feels passionately and to which he or she can give passionately as well as complete all requirements necessary to graduate from WMU’s Lee Honors College. It is this giving mind-set that channels the enormous talents of the Medallion Scholars into contributions that will outstrip what the University has given to them. It may be through involvement in academics, research and creative endeavors, student activities or athletics. It may be in the larger community through service. It is the Scholar’s choice as to what it is, but it is the demand of the Medallion Ethic that it be something significant.
Scholars will come to see the Medallion Ethic as a tradition to be upheld beyond their years at Western Michigan University. We have seen Scholars making a difference in others’ lives far into the future as part of the Medallion Ethic. We ask Scholars to embrace this Ethic as their commitment to their education. WMU has invested in each Medallion Scholar, and the Medallion Ethic expects each Scholar to invest in making a difference.