Anum Merchant, Trevin Stevens, and Delaney Demaret said they feel well prepared to attend graduate school at Oxford.

The Jepson Scholars Foundation awarded 2024 graduates Anum Merchant, Trevin Stevens, and Delaney Demaret full scholarships to master's programs at the University of Oxford.

Three Jepson Scholars head to Oxford

May 23, 2024

Since 1902, Rhodes Scholars have received comprehensive scholarships to pursue graduate programs at the University of Oxford in Oxford, United Kingdom. Now another program — the Jepson Scholars Program — offers a similar opportunity to graduates of the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies.

Philanthropists Robert S. Jepson Jr. and Alice Andrews Jepson created the Jepson Scholars Foundation in 2019 to provide scholarships for graduating Jepson School seniors to attend one-year master’s programs of their choosing at the University of Oxford. The scholarships cover tuition, food, housing, and fees.  

“Future leaders will gain firsthand experience at a renowned global institution and live and work in an international environment,” said Mr. Jepson, a Georgia businessman who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Richmond’s E. Claiborne Robins School of Business. “With the benefit of a world-class undergraduate and graduate education, Jepson Scholars will be prepared to lead both at home and abroad.”

Since the program’s inception, eight Jepson Scholars have graduated from Oxford, and another six are on track to graduate in 2024. They have earned master’s degrees in diverse disciplines, including Chinese studies, theology, education, and more. Similarly, they pursue diverse careers upon graduation.

This fall, three 2024 leadership studies graduates will matriculate at Oxford as Jepson Scholars.

Delaney Demaret, a leadership studies and global studies major from Elk Grove Village, Illinois, will pursue a Master of Science in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance. She was a member of the University of Richmond’s Amazon Borderlands Spatial Analysis Team and completed her Jepson School internship in Peru with the nonprofit Conservación Amazónica. This week, she presented her senior research on the violence associated with the extraction of resources from the Amazon at the Conference of Latin American Geography in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The daughter of Indian immigrants, Anum Merchant has long had an interest in immigrant and refugee issues. The leadership studies and political science major from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, volunteered with immigrant communities as an undergraduate and wrote her senior thesis on the effect of populist politics on pluralism, specifically looking at host countries’ treatment of refugees and immigrants. She plans to get a Master of Science in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at Oxford.

Like Merchant, Trevin Stevens of Johnson City, Tennessee, majored in leadership studies and political science. Last summer, he got a taste of state politics and policy when he completed his Jepson internship working for the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth through a prestigious Virginia Governor’s Fellowship. He researched and wrote three policy briefs about the U.S. opioid epidemic for his Jepson School senior honors thesis. He will pursue a Master of Public Policy at Oxford’s renowned Blavatnik School of Government.

Both Demaret and Stevens said the education they received at the Jepson School and the University of Richmond overall has given them the foundation they need to succeed in their graduate programs.

Merchant agreed. “Gratitude is the word I think of for Richmond,” she said. “I love this place. I’ve had many different opportunities to explore and learn about my passions. Richmond has prepared me well, and I am excited to expand my horizons even more and build on my education at Oxford.”