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About the Program

I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for DeSousa-Brent. DB made me feel at home here. - Tygee Shakir

A welcoming and close knit campus community

A Community of Scholars

What is a DeSousa-Brent Scholar?

Students underrepresented in colleges and universities that go on to become leaders, advocates for diversity, and achieve academic success.

What is an underrepresented student?

  • First generation college students
  • Pell Grant recipients
  • Ethnic minorities and students from diverse backgrounds
  • Students with disabilities
  • Students from rural and urban communities

Students may also be selected for their leadership potential or accomplishments.

Highlighted Scholars

Our History

In 2008, the DeSousa-Brent Scholars Program was created to promote the availability of a liberal arts education to underrepresented students in higher education. Since its inception, the program has mentored  hundreds of scholars. The program was named for Mathias DeSousa and Margaret Brent, two important figures in the early history of Maryland at St. Mary’s City.

Mathias DeSousa was the first black man to have a vote as a landowner in the colony of Maryland. He began his time in Maryland as an indentured servant and eventually was released from servitude and became a landowner. He served in the legislative assembly.

Margaret Brent broke gender role barriers and social expectations for women of her time by becoming a landowner with her sister. She was trained as a lawyer and is known as the first suffragette. The DeSousa-Brent Scholars enter the St. Mary’s College community with that same sense of possibility for creating social change through leadership.

DeSousa-Brent Scholars Excel, Lead, & Succeed

After their acceptance, the program provides students with the support, both academically and interpersonally that they need to succeed in their journey through college.