The program known today simply by the initials “MSP” 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 2000’s, MSSP 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.
Our most recent name change, in 2016, is to keep the name “MSP,” since it has historical significance representing a decades-long effort to nurture and mentor a diversity of students, but not have the letters stand for any particular phrase. The central goal of the “new” MSP is to organize students, who may be underrepresented, under-resourced or first in their families to attend college, into a peer networking and mentoring group, focusing on strategies for academic excellence. With additional input from faculty and staff, MSP helps to highlight College resources through periodic dinner workshops and panel discussions. The KINSC Access and Achievement fund supports science students active in MSP by funding research opportunities and summer coursework.
The student leaders of MSP are made up of student leaders from the Tri-college Summer Institute (Trico), the Horizons Leadership Program and the QuestBridge Scholars Program. Students from all three of these programs form the core of MSP, but the program welcomes all students, in all disciplines.