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Undergraduate Admission

W.S. McIntosh Memorial Leadership Award

The W.S. McIntosh Memorial Leadership Award is a combination scholarship and internship sponsored by the city of Dayton and the University of Dayton. Commemorating the values and vision of W.S. McIntosh, a community leader and civil rights activist, the McIntosh Award provides unique educational, professional and leadership opportunities for the recipient.

Scholarship/Internship Opportunity

November 1

Application deadline


City of Dayton and the University of Dayton

As a Catholic, Marianist university committed to the common good, we graduate servant-leaders educated in community building and innovation. For more than 30 years, McIntosh scholars have found their life’s vocation and passion, and made a positive impact in the community, thanks to the city of Dayton, UD and this award.

Recipients must be committed to the ideals of social justice and demonstrate potential for community leadership.

Scholarship Award

The McIntosh Award includes a University of Dayton scholarship which, in conjunction with state, federal and private grants, covers the annual direct expenses of tuition, room and board. The award is renewable for four academic years (eight semesters), provided renewal conditions are met.

You can also earn up to $1,000 per year for your textbooks for four years if you visit campus and file the FAFSA by February 1. 

City Internship

As part of this award, you also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through an internship with the city of Dayton starting the summer before your first year at UD. The internship provides valuable leadership and service opportunities — and money that can be used for books, supplies, transportation and personal expenses. These earnings are not part of the scholarship award.

Application Procedure

To be considered for the 2024 W.S. McIntosh Memorial Leadership Award, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be a graduating high school senior.
  • Live or attend school within the city of Dayton.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to social justice through school and community engagement.

You must also:

  • Complete the application process for admission to the University of Dayton by Nov. 1, including submitting official high school transcripts.
  • Compose and submit a personal letter to the W.S. McIntosh Memorial Leadership Award committee describing why you should be considered for this prestigious award. The ideal letter will highlight your commitment to the ideals of social justice and community engagement, address your understanding of the impact W.S. McIntosh had on the city of Dayton and express your interest in attending the University of Dayton. Please limit your response to 1500 words or less.
  • On a separate page provide a list of any academic and/or community honors you’ve received while in high school, including your high school activities noting areas of leadership. (These activities can include jobs, volunteer work, church participation/leadership, clubs, sports, hobbies and even family responsibilities.)
  • Provide one letter of recommendation from a high school teacher, counselor or coach regarding your academic achievements, leadership capacity and/or commitment to social justice.
  • Provide one letter of recommendation from a neighborhood, community or faith leader who can speak to your commitment to community service or social justice.

All materials should be submitted electronically or postmarked by 11:59pm EDT Wednesday, November 1, 2023.

Selection Process

Selection is based on academic achievement, school activities and community involvement. Finalists will be invited to interview with the selection committee, composed of staff members from the city of Dayton and the University of Dayton.


Application materials for the McIntosh Award should be addressed to:

Office of Recruitment and Admission
Attn: McIntosh Review Committee
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-1310

If you have questions, contact:

Kathleen Henderson

W.S. McIntosh

During the 1960s, many courageous men and women participated in movements throughout the nation to guarantee equal rights to all Americans. Across the country, minority leaders emerged with a vision for a more just society. Dayton was blessed with its own dynamic leader — the late W.S. McIntosh. In 1960, McIntosh went to Atlanta to observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and on February 26, 1961, he led one of the first major civil rights protests in the Dayton community. He utilized nonviolent methods to fight for the rights of minorities to work at Rike’s Department Stores, Liberal Supermarket and other establishments in the Dayton area. McIntosh also organized community groups and served as the executive director of the Dayton chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). On March 4, 1974, McIntosh was shot and killed outside his family-owned store while trying to prevent a robbery in downtown Dayton.