The Hamel Scholars Program was founded in 2007. It provides merit scholarships and special recognition to exceptional students from New Hampshire who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership, and community service.
Funded through gifts from Dana Hamel, a long-time UNH supporter, the programs seek to help students develop their full potential and become active, engaged leaders in communities throughout the state after graduating from UNH.
In 2018, the program model was revamped to tackle community-based issues proposed by individual Hamel Scholars. More than 20 proposals were taken and combined into broader topics. The Hamel Scholars then ranked their level of interest, and were placed into one of the student-led Community Task Forces.
The Community Task Forces meet regularly together in person and virtually, and have started working toward both individual- and group-oriented goals. Leadership and Service requirements for the Hamel Scholars Program now encompass the issues and challenges the Task Forces are addressing, in the hopes that they allow the Hamel Scholars to form a real-life connection to their passions.