In 2006, a visionary group of administrators leading university scholar programs collaborated to foster a community focused on the exchange of innovative ideas and unwavering support for academically high-achieving college students as well as the programs and employees that recruit, select, and support them. This informal network quickly evolved into a transformative force, laying the foundation for an organization that would redefine excellence in undergraduate scholars program administration.
The inaugural gathering—including members from University of South Carolina’s Top Scholar Program, North Carolina State University’s Park Scholarships program, Georgia Institute of Technology’s President’s Scholarship Program, and Clemson University’s National Scholars Program—took place at Clemson University in South Carolina in June 2007, where these administrators shared insights and strategies. Here, they decided to formalize the new organization, the Undergraduate Scholars Program Administrators Association (USPAA).
Building on the momentum of their first meeting, the administrators reconvened in 2008 at North Carolina State University, solidifying their commitment to creating a vibrant and supportive network. In 2009, the organization met at the University of Texas at Dallas and approved its first board of directors and established the initial set of by-laws.
Since then, USPAA has continued to thrive and evolve, hosting an annual conference that serves as a cornerstone for administrators to collaborate, share best practices, and stay at the forefront of developments in the field. In 2012, the organization introduced the Scholar Summit, an annual conference designed specifically for students within scholar programs. This addition exemplifies USPAA's commitment to fostering not only professional growth among administrators but also providing a platform for the scholars themselves to connect, learn, and envision a future of academic excellence.