Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars | Our History
Building on the rich history of the Frederick Douglass Scholarship, Provost Scott Bass established the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars (FDDS) program, offering the largest merit-based scholarship in the history of American University (AU).
Professor Charles Tesconi led a team of AU faculty and staff in the benchmarking and review of academic enrichment and student support programs to shape Provost Bass' vision for the FDDS program.
Professor Tesconi and his team advised Vice Provost Phyllis Peres in the selection of the program's founding director. Vice Provost Peres selected Larry P. Thomas as the Inaugural Director of the FDDS program.
As the architect of the FDDS program, Director Thomas wrote a six-year strategic plan to design a leadership development and graduate/professional school preparation program for a new generation of socially responsible leaders.
Director Thomas established and chaired the High Standards Council, a program advisory committee of faculty and staff.
Professor Joshua Woodfork is appointed inaugural Faculty Liaison, facilitating student-faculty engagement and program collaboration with the schools and colleges.
Justin Morgan and Jessica Rothman become the first FDDS to earn Spotlight Health scholarships from the Aspen Institute. Additionally, the Institute selected Director Thomas as a 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar.