Campus Leaders

Featured Scholar

DeSousa-Brent Scholars excel in the classroom and beyond.


Promoting Inclusiveness

Historic St. Mary's City

Scholars host annual visits to high schools and community centers in Maryland and Washington, DC, to promote St. Mary's to talented high school students.



MLK Group

The DeSousa-Brent Scholars Program cultivates the academic and leadership potential of talented students from groups traditionally underrepresented at St. Mary’s. The select program prepares a community of scholars to guide the College’s efforts to increase understanding of diversity and inclusion.

The program supports Scholars in all four years of college. We offer:

  • A Summer Bridge Program that prepares entering Scholars for excellence in their fall college work
  • A Technology Education Program that provides laptops and ongoing technology training
  • DeSousa-Brent sections of CORE101: First-Year Seminar that enhances Scholars' inclusive leadership skills through critical examination of diversity issues
  • A spring leadership seminar featuring student-designed service projects that prepare Scholars for campus leadership
  • Study and writing groups
  • Academic coaching
  • Peer mentorships and fellowships
  • Life and career planning
  • Summer research in humanities as well as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines
  • Preparation for honors theses, careers, and graduate and professional schools

First year Scholars also participate in the Multicultural Achievement Peer Program (MAPP) and Emerging Scholars Programs in Calculus, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.


The DeSousa-Brent Scholars Program was named in 2008 for Mathias DeSousa and Margaret Brent, two important figures in the early history of Maryland at St. Mary’s City.

Mathias DeSousaMathias 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 BrentMargaret Brent broke sex 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.

Both DeSousa and Brent were leaders who moved themselves and their society forward. The DeSousa-Brent Scholars enter the St. Mary’s College community with that same sense of possibility for creating social change through leadership.