The Robert and Ellen Thompson Scholarships

The Robert and Ellen Thompson Scholarship programs provide students with the financial, academic and individualized support needed to successfully pursue and complete their college degree. Working closely with the Thompson Foundation, GVSU strives to engage and connect with our scholars to achieve the student outcomes that Bob and Ellen Thompson envisioned and that their generosity has made possible.  


Scholars strive to be successful academically with the goal of degree completion and to become lifelong learners. 


Students connect with each other fostering personal and professional growth in preparation for graduation and beyond.


Thompson Scholars engage with the surrounding communities through collaborative service projects that honor the values and generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Thompson.

History and Mission

The Thompsons began supporting Grand Valley students in 2008, with 15 students receiving an award. Since then, the number of students awarded has grown with each incoming class. The program originally started with The University Preparatory Academy Scholarship, which allows graduates from the academy, one of their Detroit nonprofit charter schools, to attend Grand Valley. It has now grown to include students from University Prep Science & Math, and University Prep Art & Design. 

Since then, the Thompson Working Families Scholars Program, which is awarded to freshmen students from Michigan working families, was added. The program was expanded to include a two-year scholarship for students from Michigan transferring to GVSU, and the Achiever Scholarship for second-year students. Learn more about the scholarships

Bob and Ellen Thompson group photo with many Thompson Scholar Recipients

The Thompson Scholarships at Grand Valley State University were created to provide financial support to students with the largest gap between eligible aid and tuition. These scholarships provide multi-year financial and programmatic support, along with required service hours, to inspire and empower Thompson Scholars to be engaged and connected leaders in the Laker community and beyond.

The Thompson Scholarship Impact

Thompson Scholars

Samantha Kapsala

Mr. Thompson's message

Page last modified March 14, 2024