Program History

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program at Bowdoin was established in 1992.

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program was established through the vision and generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon foundation in 1988 and is the “centerpiece of the foundation’s initiatives to increase diversity in the faculty ranks of institutions of higher learning.”  Bowdoin College was honored to become an MMUF institution in 1992. 

The MMUF program was named in honor of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays (1894-1984), an educator, mentor, scholar, author, minister, and social activist who is remembered for his extraordinary leadership and service as dean of the Howard University School of Religion, president of Morehouse College, advisor to Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter and to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and president of the Atlanta Board of Education—where he oversaw the peaceful desegregation of the Atlanta public school system. The son of freed sharecroppers, Dr. Mays developed a “unique mentoring style that integrated academic excellence with a concern for social justice.”