Office of Distinguished Graduates

Applying for Rhodes, Marshall, Gates, Truman and Other Highly Competitive Graduate Scholarships

The Office of Distinguished Graduates assists our most accomplished students with the process of applying for highly competitive scholarships. These types of scholarships are most realistic for students who have compiled outstanding academic records (3.7 or 3.8 and above grade point averages); have evidence of outstanding performance in a wide range of extra-curricular areas; and display personal traits of leadership, character, moral courage, physical vigor, protection of the weak, willingness to "fight the world's fight," and community service.

How to Apply

All interested students are warmly invited and encouraged to submit a preliminary expression of interest in applying. Please prepare the items as below as a "first screen" for potential applicants. These are designed to become the basis for the full-fledged, final applications:

  • Unofficial College Transcript
  • An outline of a first draft 1,000 word personal essay - This should be a rough outline setting forth the key elements of a personal statement that, in time and with pluck, will become a painstakingly prepared and economically eloquent statement on "who you are, what makes you tick, your passions, your aspirations."
  • Curriculum Vitae - A rough draft of a list of principal accomplishments, extra-curricular activities, community service, religious or spiritual activities, awards, commendations, hobbies, athletic pursuits, and all other noteworthy items that define you as a person.
  • Brief statement of proposed course of study and why you are qualified - Please, if possible, explain which university you are interested in and, if relevant, with which professor or department.
  • Names of Referees for Letters of Recommendation - Provide the names and titles of at least 5 and no more than 8 potential referees whom you believe would be willing to write letters of reference for you. Typically the best array of letters is diverse - with ample representation of sources who know the candidate well in many different contexts ranging from academic to extra-curricular.

Students are encouraged to submit the above items to Bud Sheppard. Please take note that each candidate must procure a Letter of Endorsement from Gonzaga University. Participation in the process described here is a prerequisite to the University's decision to grant this endorsement. 


For detailed information on specific scholarships, please consult the following links: 

Graduate Scholarships

Rhodes Scholarships
Marshall Scholarships
Gates Cambridge Scholarships
Truman Scholarships

Undergraduate Scholarships

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships
Morris K Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Scholarships
NSEP Boren Awards for International Study
Fulbright Scholarships - Please see Gonzaga University Professors Julie Weiskopf and Caoimhin De Barra, Fulbright Advisors

A Note From Our Office

Spending three years earning a doctorate at New College, Oxford University, England on a Rhodes Scholarship was a highlight of my education and life. President Thayne McCulloh has asked me to help identify and guide Gonzaga’s most accomplished, versatile and promising students with respect to applying for distinguished graduate scholarships.

Foreign study and travel often become revered opportunities to expand students’ world views and cultural horizons. They sometimes emerge as much more than that: a seminal or even transformational experience. A period of graduate study abroad helps students gain the self-knowledge, confidence, and new perspectives on their own country, school, work and life which in turn assists in developing core values, passions, career paths and other critical, personal objectives.

All qualified students are warmly invited and encouraged to make an appointment to come talk with me. I follow a policy of "gentle but total candor." This is to say that I will tell you honestly whether I think you are a credible candidate or not. If you work with me, I will also be relentlessly committed to helping you to produce your very best work. I will help steer you in the direction which, in my opinion, appears the most promising. I cannot assure that you, or anyone, will receive a scholarship -- or even be invited to a "finals" interview (a tremendous accomplishment in itself). What I can guarantee is that, if you decide to commit yourself to working arduously on one or more of these applications, and I agree, you will receive probing, critical, sustained and constructive advice on everything from your writing, ideas, logic, and word choice... to your performance in practice interviews, and a whole lot more. I can also advise that you will emerge with a dossier of your own work of which you will be proud, and which will also serve you well in your applications for graduate schools, grants, internships, and jobs for some years to come. 

Bud Sheppard

Bud Sheppard

Burton D. Sheppard, Esq.
B.A., J.D., D. Phil. (Oxon.)

Learn more about a few distinguished graduates

2015 graduate Chris Birmingham smiling.

Christopher Birmingham

Marshall Scholarship Recipient

“I could not have done this without the support of all those who helped me along the way and without my rich and diverse education at Gonzaga.”

2014 graduate Mariel Rodriguez smiling.

Mariel Rodriguez

Gates Scholar

"I think that this place has really prepared me emotionally, spiritually, and physically to go do something for the world.”

Ryan Lojo

Ryan Lojo

Fulbright Scholar; analyst at Convixion

“Go to Gonzaga, take advantage of all the opportunities available to you and don’t be afraid of doing something a little different.”

Contact the Office of Distinguished Graduates

Send a message
502 E. Boone Ave
Spokane, WA 99258
Crosby, First Floor, #101D
(509) 313-6105 / (509) 435-3407