$1 Million Endowed Scholarship Established by Wayne State University and Corvias

September 25, 2018


Today, the partnership between Wayne State University and Corvias announced the first two recipients of its new $1 million Corvias Endowed Scholarship at Wayne State University. Both Corvias and Wayne State are committed to promoting affordability for new students pursuing higher education. In keeping with Corvias Foundation’s commitment to providing “beyond the dollar” support, the scholarship also includes opportunities for mentoring, internship and a significant network throughout students’ college careers.


This endowment demonstrates the benefits of a well-executed, 40-year partnership between Wayne State and Corvias to develop, finance, construct, operate and maintain the university’s student housing. Wayne State worked with Corvias Foundation to create a scholarship tailored to students who pursue an education despite economic challenges and during the first two years of school, statistically the period when the majority of students drop out. The Corvias Scholar Awards will assist freshmen and sophomores in covering tuition, fees, room, board and any other costs associated with attendance.


The two inaugural recipients for the fall 2018 academic year are:


SierraBentley.jpgSierra Bentley, majoring in astronomy from Saint Clair Shores, northeast of the metro Detroit area. Bentley volunteered as a peer educator at a local community outreach organization called Alternatives for Girls (sometimes up to 40 hours per week). She also worked as a retail cashier during high school and served as a student member of the Detroit City Council from 2016-17 and as an IT intern for the Detroit Tigers during summer 2017. Bentley logged more than 360 volunteer hours while in high school.



Kamao Clark.jpg




Kamau Clark, majoring in political science from Detroit. Clark continues to work at least 20 hours a week while attending classes. He provides mentoring and tutoring services to freshmen students and strives to have active involvement in serving Detroit residents through leadership or volunteering. As a member of the WSU Brotherhood, he assists minority males with building academic, personal and professional relationships through brotherhood, mentoring and empowerment. Clark was involved in a syllabus semester planning session for students, as well as organizing game night and educational forums.


The first recipients were awarded on Sept. 25 at Wayne State’s Tierney Alumni House during a luncheon that included Provost Keith Whitfield; Dawn Medley, associate vice president for enrollment management; Cathy Kay, director of financial aid; Bill Decatur, CFO; as well as Corvias principal Michael DeLaRosa and Maria Montalvo, Corvias Foundation executive director.


“Because of the partnership between WSU and Corvias, this endowed scholarship will allow generations of students to persist and be successful at Wayne State,” said Tim Michael, associate vice president of student auxiliary services and chief housing officer. “It is humbling to be part of creating such a great and timeless positive support for students.” 


Corvias has pledged a direct donation of $500,000, to be paid over 10 years, to fund the endowed Corvias Scholars Awards at Wayne State University. In addition, the other $500,000 will be paid through 10 annual installments generated from the housing partnership. 


The annual Corvias Scholar Award will be among one of the largest dollar-value awards to incoming students at Wayne State University.


“Corvias, through its philanthropic arm, Corvias Foundation, is committed to providing Corvias Scholar Awards that are truly transformational and allow students to reach higher when contemplating the future,” Montalvo said. “Providing the Corvias Scholars Awards to freshmen with the possible continuation on to their sophomore year will offer further support in their most vulnerable time of not persisting.”


Each year a Corvias Scholar Award in the amount of $12,500 will be awarded to one freshman student in good standing to be used for tuition, fees and on-campus room and board, at the student’s discretion. The Corvias Scholar Award may be renewed for the sophomore year if the student continues to meet the scholarship eligibility criteria:


  • A recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student, reside in on-campus housing and demonstrate financial need.
  • A recipient of the Corvias Scholar Award must achieve and maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA each year to be eligible for this award.
  • A recipient of the Corvias Scholar Award may use the award for tuition, fees, room and/or board in on-campus housing. 


Remaining funds, approximately $25,000 per year, will be used for Corvias scholarships of various amounts to support WSU students in good standing who demonstrate financial need to pay the room and board costs of living in on-campus housing.


Details on availability of this scholarship will be announced in the coming months.



About Wayne State University:

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.


About Corvias:

As a privately owned company headquartered in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, Corvias partners with higher education and government institutions nationwide to solve their most essential systemic problems and create long-term, sustainable value through our unique approach to partnership. Corvias pursues the kinds of partnerships that materially and sustainably improve the quality of life for the people who call our communities home, purposefully choosing to partner with organizations who share our values and whose mission is to serve as the foundational blocks, or pillars, of our nation. To learn more, please visit corvias.com.


About Corvias Foundation

Corvias Foundation is committed to inspiring students, college and university campuses, military families, and our partners to reach higher. Founded in 2006 as "Our Family for Families First Foundation," our work increases access to educational, internship, mentoring and volunteer opportunities so that those we touch are empowered to pursue their dreams and to make a greater impact in service to their communities and their nation. We strive to create ever-increasing opportunities by providing the resources and networks needed to help our scholars and partners surpass their goals. We achieve this through a commitment to education, community engagement and high-impact charitable giving.



Contact: Kelly Douglas