Nitze Alumni: Where are they now?

Lisa in the Peace Corps in Kenya

The world finds Nitze Scholars in a wide range of walks of life. Cookie cutters have their the kitchen.

The Nitze Experience

JaVon and Emily learning how things work in Senegal

The Paul H. Nitze Program offers:

  • three special seminars for each student
  • cultural outings to DC/Baltimore paid for by the program
  • special meetings with high-profile campus visitors
  • an international study tour paid for by the program
  • a stipend of $3000 per year for participants

Program Description

At any given time, about 60 students at St. Mary's College are studying within the small, selective Nitze Scholars Program. As high school seniors with exceptionally high academic achievement and sense of educational purpose, they were invited to apply to the College's four-year course of study in which the focus is on leadership and public service. In addition, the Program annually accepts another four to five students as they enter their sophomore year at St. Mary's.

The Program accepts high school graduates who have already mastered the skills of critical thinking, analysis, and cogent writing, and permits them to bypass introductory first-year courses in order to create their own four-year curriculum - with the advice and oversight of a special faculty committee. Each student is committed to the goal of combining academic rigor and scholarship with an understanding of the importance of leadership and public service. The Program is characterized by the theme of leadership that changes its specific focus each year: leadership in science, leadership in resistance to moral atrocity, leadership in environmental policy, etc. The program features small inter-disciplinary seminars, the development of individual leadership-and-service portfolios, and a study trip abroad that concludes the second-year seminar.


Paul Nitze

Paul H. Nitze (1907-2004)

From 1985 to 1996, Ambassador Paul Nitze served on the Academic Affairs Committee of the College's Board of Trustees, giving St. Mary's the benefit of his lifelong experience as a leader in both national and international affairs.

Paul Nitze graduated (summa cum laude) from Harvard College in 1928 with a B.A. in economics. For almost a decade, he worked successfully in a private investment firm, but with the advent of World War II he entered public life, serving every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton. Mr. Nitze received the Medal of Merit from President Harry Truman, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan. During the Cold War, Mr. Nitze focused his leadership on arms control and became famous as the ambassador-at-large who - together with his Soviet counterpart, Yuli Kvitsinky - shrugged off their respective strategy teams and took "a walk in the woods" where issues could be discussed quietly, one-on-one. This diplomatic breakthrough became the subject of the 1988 Broadway play "A Walk in the Woods."