Comfort Munonye with daughter Chinyere Munonye, BA ‘23
Comfort Munonye (left) beams with pride as daughter Chinyere Munonye, BA ‘23, (right) was spotlighted at the 2023 Celebration of Scholarships & Fellowships Dinner — an annual event that brings scholarship recipients and donors together.


Empowered to Inspire

Scholarships open doors to GW and the world



Lyrical poet. Proud D.C. native. Loyal friend.  First-generation college student. Loving daughter. Chinyere Munonye, BA ’23, brought a lot to GW,  and a scholarship helped bring her to Foggy Bottom.

Chinyere set her sights on GW after exploring dual-enrollment programs in high school. GW’s Columbian College of Arts & Sciences met her broad interests, but she still worried about the financial burden of higher education.

One afternoon, Chinyere and her mother, Comfort Munonye, received news that changed their lives: Chinyere had received GW’s Lawrence-Klose Family Endowed Scholarship.

In 2021, GW launched Open Doors: The Centuries Initiative for Scholarships & Fellowships to expand access to GW. Since then, average annual contributions to scholarships and fellowships have increased 32% compared to the previous 3 years.

At GW, Chinyere studied psychological and brain sciences with a minor in fine art. She made the Dean’s List. She held part-time jobs on campus. She was part of a spoken word collective. She worked on sustainability in GW residence halls. Chinyere wore many hats, but her goal never wavered: to help others.

Mary Katherine Lawrence, MD ’83, and her spouse, Dr. Arthur Klose, created the scholarship Chinyere received. “To see that I can help someone is so gratifying,” Lawrence said. “It means a lot because you can’t take it with you, so you might as well see it do great things, and [Chinyere is] a great thing that it’s done.”

GW’s commitment to undergraduate financial aid increased 61% over the last 10 years. Currently GW gives nearly $250M in financial support for undergraduates.

Chinyere graduated in May 2023 and now serves as a Student Life Coordinator for GW’s Pre-College and International Summer Programs. She hopes to inspire first-generation, low-income students the same way donors inspired her.

“[Having] somebody receive something that you give is not only a heartwarming experience,” said Chinyere reflecting on generosity, “but it is an example of how to live.”



Scholarship & Fellowship Philanthropy in Action




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Endowed Scholarship Growth

The average annual contribution to undergraduate need-based endowed scholarships grew by 74% in FY21-23 over FY18-20 thanks to GW’s Third Century Scholarship Endowment Match.

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25 Years of Scholarships

Professor Sylven Seid Beck, EdD ‘81, of the Graduate School of Education & Human Development (GSEHD) is a legendary teacher of teachers. In 1996 fellow GSEHD professor Gloria L. Horrworth created the Sylven Seid Beck Endowment for Elementary Education, and since then alumni, colleagues, friends and family have contributed to the scholarship fund for future teachers.


Unlocking Enduring Access to GW

In 2022, GW devoted $12 million to launch the Third Century Scholarship Endowment Match – a dollar-for-dollar fundraising match to spark the growth of endowed need-based undergraduate scholarships. GW Engineering alumnus Thomas J. Doherty, BS ’89, was among the first to double his impact in perpetuity through this historic match by adding $500,000 to his existing fund supporting aspiring engineers.  Learn more about Open Doors and the Match:

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Happy students


For more than 30 years, GW has been opening doors for academically talented D.C. high school students through the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg (SJT) Scholarship – a four-year scholarship covering tuition, room and board, and fees. Recently GW increased access to a GW education by increasing institutional funding and rallying donors through Open Doors: The Centuries Initiative for Scholarships & Fellowships and The Third Century Scholarship Endowment Match.

In 2020, Bailey Moore (pictured) was awarded the SJT Scholarship and is now a senior at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health on the pre-medicine track. Bailey plans to become an Ob-Gyn, combining her passion for public health with a commitment to equity and maternal and reproductive justice.