Ronald E. McNair Scholarship

Ronald E. McNair Scholarship

The Ronald E. McNair Scholarship, established in Dr. McNair’s honor by the Black Alumni/ae of MIT, recognizes a Black undergraduate who has demonstrated strong academic performance and who has made a considerable contribution to the minority community.

Note: the McNair Scholars are selected through a separate process from the nomination webform and those selected will be honored at the Awards Convocation. If you have any questions about the Ronald E. McNair Scholarship please contact us via email.

Ronald Erwin McNair
Ronald Erwin McNair first came to MIT on a junior-year exchange scholarship from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. He returned a year later for graduate work on laser spectroscopy, earning a Ph.D. in 1976 while also working with area inner-city youth. McNair joined NASA’s mission specialist program in 1978 and flew in a successful flight of the space shuttle Challenger in 1984. Tragically, he was one of eight aboard the Challenger when it exploded in 1986. At a memorial service for McNair, his thesis advisor, Michael S. Feld ‘63, noted that qualities that McNair embodied — technical accomplishment, social contribution, and personal fulfillment — were ones that MIT hopes to instill in others.

Past Award Recipients


  • Ochiba Attah '20
  • Timmy Hussain '20
  • Timothy Leplae-Arthur '20
  • Caleb Richardson '20


  • Naomi Dereje '20
  • Nikayah Etienne '19
  • Chinonyelum “Nonye” Ikeanyi '19
  • Adedoyin Olateru-Olagbegi '20


  • Chloe Garden '18
  • Kathleen Guerra '18
  • Kristopher Wiggins '18


  • Frederick O. Daso '17
  • Kayode Y. Ezike '17
  • Aaron L. Morris '17


  • Sylvia N. Atsaves '16
  • Margaret A. Okobi '16
  • Janelle Wellons '16


  • Micah A. Nishigaki '15
  • Fernando L. Nunez '15
  • Aaron P. Thomas '15


  • Camille A. DeJarnett '14
  • Elise M. Myers '14
  • Joshua V. Sibblies '14


  • Wyatt Ubellacker ‘13


  • Columbus Leonard '12