The Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program

The award-winning Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program is American University's premier Honors community for our most admired student leaders. Since 2010, AU has awarded more than 50 Frederick Douglass Distinguished scholarships to incoming first-year students with rare talent, creative ability, and extraordinary drive. The scholarship program distinctively prepares this new generation of exceptional leaders for complex challenges in an ever-changing world. Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars personify the best of AU: entrepreneurial thinking, inclusion, and impactful citizenship.

Impact Statement

To elevate the ideas, influence, and impact of enterprising students for socially-responsible leadership, post-baccalaureate education, and lifelong achievement.

Core Values


We prioritize fairness, ethical decision-making, and sincere action over all else in everything that we do.


We lead lives dedicated to empowering communities through philanthropy, advocacy, and engagement.


We take risks, overcome setbacks, and never stop moving forward.


We harness our individual curiosity and our collective passion for impactful citizenship to creatively address modern challenges.


We interact, learn, and collaborate in a dignified, inclusive, and respectful manner while celebrating similarities and differences in opinion, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, native/indigenous origin, age, sexual orientation, culture, religion, socio-economic difference, appearance, disability, mental health, geography, nationality, language, and accent.