The program known today as Horizons began in 1981 as the Minority Science Scholars Project or MSSP. Supported by a grant from the Sloan Foundation and spearheaded by Slavica Matacic in the Haverford Biology department, MSSP was a mentoring program for the small number of students of color with an interest in the sciences.
Sometime in the early 2000s, MSP extended its mission to include students of color in all disciplines and was renamed the Minority Scholars Program or MSP. In 2003, MSP kept its initials but changed its name to the Multicultural Scholars Program, and recast its mission to serve all students in all disciplines. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant gave support to MSP students in the sciences by supplying funds for term-time and summer science research. In 2016, the letters “MSP” became the name, untethered from the moniker Multicultural Scholars Program but connected to its historical significance of representing a decades-long effort to nurture and mentor a diversity of students.
In 2020 Horizons was born, evolving from MSP. It would serve as the year-long program for underrepresented, under-resourced, and/or first in their families to attend college. The name change helped highlight the connection and seamless transition from the Horizons Leadership Institute held in the summer. The Horizons community includes, but is not limited to, Chesick Scholars, Fords’ Firsts, Horizons Leadership Institute and Quest Scholars. Horizons’ programming begins in September and continues every other week throughout the semester. Each month there is one social programming event that focuses on community-building and one event that explores academic issues, topics, and strategies through workshops and discussions. The sessions are developed and facilitated by the year-long Horizons Student Resource People with support from staff and faculty.