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Scruggs Scholarship will benefit current undergrads

May 30, 2019

Scruggs_MitchellA new scholarship fund, honoring former history professor Otey Scruggs and his widow, Barbara, will reward current undergraduates for their accomplishments and promise at Syracuse University and the Maxwell School.

The Otey and Barbara Scruggs Maxwell School Scholarship is being created with a $280,000 gift commitment from Otey and Barbara Scruggs’s son, Jeffrey M. Scruggs, and his wife, Robbin E. Mitchell. The new fund will be used each year to provide merit scholarships to undergraduate students enrolled across the Maxwell School disciplines, with preference given to students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement. Awards will be renewable for each recipient, assuming continued strong academic standing with Maxwell. The new scholarship is designed to help Maxwell and Syracuse University retain undergraduates who have already begun to prove their capabilities and potential; and to help support racial, cultural, and gender diversity within the student body.

Otey Scruggs, who died in 2014, was an award-winning professor of history from 1969 until his retirement in 1995. Having done early research on Mexican farm workers, Scruggs later was a pioneer in the field of African-American history. He wrote a biography of 19th century priest and black abolitionist Alexander Crummel, titled We the Children of Africa in this Land. His publications also include Braceros, ‘Wetbacks,’ and the Farm Labor Problem: A History of Mexican Agricultural Labor in the U.S., 1942–1954. A lecture series in the Department of History also honors Professor Scruggs; it, too, was funded by a gift from Jeffrey Scruggs and Robbin Mitchell.

Jeffrey Scruggs, who earned both an undergraduate economics degree and MBA from Harvard University, is a managing director at Goldman, Sachs & Co., and co-head of the company’s Public Sector Banking group within the Investment Banking Division. He is a Syracuse University trustee and a member of the Maxwell School Advisory Board. Robbin Mitchell, who also holds an MBA from Harvard (and bachelor’s from Stanford University), is a partner and managing director for the Boston Consulting Group, focusing on retail within the Consumer Practice Area.


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