The Dedman Scholar Student Experience

Students accepted to the Dedman Distinguished Scholars Program become members of the Dedman Academy, a rigorous training and mentorship program available only to current Dedman Scholars.  Through regular meetings with faculty mentors, other Dedman Scholars, specialized workshops, and other academic enrichment resources, the Academy is able to prepare scholars for success at UT and beyond. The Academy also allows Dedman Scholars to form the bonds with faculty and one another that will persist throughout their lives.

Community and Mentoring

Scholars enter the Dedman Academy as part of a cohort that remains together for their four years at UT.  In their first year together the cohort meets regularly with a faculty mentor to share their progress, find common interests, work through the training program, and in general form a community bond.  Faculty mentors also meet individually with Scholars to discuss personal goals and successes and to help them find other faculty mentors outside of the Dedman Program who can work with Scholars as they begin to take on more rigorous academic endeavors.

Research, Service, and Leadership

Students wishing to succeed at the highest levels after graduation must have strong academic records, but they must also have extensive experience in research, service, and leadership.  Although the Dedman Program expects that new scholars will have already worked in one or more of these areas, scholars will still need guidance to succeed in them at the university level.  Thus, the Dedman Academy is partly devoted to helping students learn about and engage in the types of research and service that are expected of the best students.

On the research side, scholars will learn how to find research opportunities in their chosen areas, work effectively with faculty, improve their writing and reasoning skills to match what is expected of professional researchers, and better understand the important role that research plays in university life.

For service and leadership, students will learn about opportunities to serve, develop skills related to interpersonal interaction, public speaking and other essential leadership skills, and learn how to promote organizational change and effectiveness.  In short, through the Academy, Dedman Scholars become some of the best trained and most knowledgeable students on campus.

Dedman Distinguished Scholars Virtues

Dedman Scholars belong to cohorts by their entering class, with each of those cohorts being named after a Greek virtue. These virtues correspond with the core values of the program: the fundamental qualities of character that motivate and inspire Dedman Scholars to reach their highest potential. These eight virtues also reflect the character attributes that Robert Dedman upheld in his own life and identified as the foundation for his success.

 Honesty — Aletheia (al-EY-they-ah)

While Aletheia can mean truthfulness, sincerity, or honesty, the term also designates truth itself. The root of Aletheia is the same in the verb lanthano (“I escape notice”) and the name of the Lethe, the river in Greek Mythology which strips souls of their memories as they enter Hades. Aletheia is that which cannot escape notice, that which always comes to light–truth.


Ιntegrity — Chrestotes (creys-TOH-tays)

Chrestotes is goodness or rectitude. It is derived from the adjective chrestos (itself derived from the verb chraomai), which denotes that an object is useful or “good of its kind.” A chrestos person, then, is one who possesses and displays the best of human qualities–goodness and integrity.


Compassion — Eleos (EH-leh-os)

To feel compassion is, in literal terms, to suffer together, to feel another’s suffering. This ability to pity and recognize the pain of others is eleos. When Achilles, although knowing well the pain of the death of his comrade Patroclus, did not give the body of Hector to the Trojans to bury in the Iliad, the hero failed to see the pain which the Trojans felt because of Hector’s death. He has, as Priam says, eleon…apolesen: destroyed his eleos (Iliad 24.44).


Courage — Tharsos (THAR-sos)

Courage in all its forms–that is Tharsos. The word is found even in Homer: more than once does Odysseus need to put courage in his comrades and to himself be encourage. Autar tharsos enepneusen mega daimon — “And a god breathed great courage” into Odysseus and his companions (Odyssey 9.381).


Conviction — Bebaiotes (be-bye-OH-tays)

We often describe conviction as the willingness to stand by one’s principles. Bebaiotes is just that–standing firm–as, in its radical sense, Bebaiotes is steadfastness or stability. It finds its root in the verb bebeka– “I stand.” A person of bebaiotes has taken their stand, and will not be swayed from it.


Honor — Gennaiotes (gen-aye-OH-tays)

Gennaiotes derives from a root meaning “to come into being” or “to be born.” Accordingly, a gennaios person is literally one who is true to their birth, but from this sense it comes to mean describe a person of noble character, not just noble birth. Gennaiotes as honor, then, is not the province of those noble by blood alone, but also those noble in spirit.


Humility — Tapeinophrosune (ta-pey-no-froh-SUN-ey)

The Latin word humus, which means “ground” or “earth,” is the root of our English “humility.” A humble soul is one close to the earth. Our Greek equivalent preserves this conceit: tapeino- comes from an adjective meaning “low” or “near the earth” and phrosune refers to the mind or spirit (and is actually cognate with the English “brain”). Tapeinophrosune is having not too tall a mind–or rather, not too big a head.


Sacrifice — Philanthropia (phil-anth-row-PEE-ah)

Philanthropia has worked its way into the English lexicon nearly intact. We know philanthropy as charity or the inclination to do others good, motivated by benevolence, by a love (phil-) for humanity (-anthropia). As such, Philanthropia is not an exact equivalent to “Sacrifice,” but the two concepts share a common heart: the desire to give to others rather than oneself.