Character, Leadership, Academic Excellence Define Michaels-Dickson Scholars
McCallie Communications Office

The Michaels-Dickson Scholars Program was created in 1998 and is named for Ed Michaels ’60 and Alan Dickson ’49 who were instrumental in its founding.

This merit-based scholarship opportunity was inspired by the prestigious collegiate-level programs like the Morehead Scholarship at the University of North Carolina, the Jefferson Scholarship at the University of Virginia, and the A.B. Duke Scholarship at Duke University. At McCallie, full and partial scholarships are made possible to chosen recipients through a special endowment established to fund scholarships in perpetuity. Over the past twenty-two years, the Michaels-Dickson Scholars Program has been instrumental in attracting exceptional boarding students to McCallie, and has recently been expanded to include day students. The young men chosen as Michaels-Dickson Scholars contribute significantly to the culture of excellence at McCallie and go on to excel at colleges, universities, and communities across the country. 

The Michaels-Dickson Scholars Program is an important strategy to fulfill the school’s goal of increasing its boarding population to 300 students, an initiative referred to in the Strategic Plan as ‘The Road to 300.’ In recent years, the awareness and notoriety of the merit-scholarship opportunity has greatly increased. Fundraising efforts to expand the scholarship endowment have been successful. In 2016 the school enrolled 45 Michaels-Dickson Scholars (all boarding students); 72 Michaels-Dickson Scholars (63 boarding + 9 day students) were enrolled in 2020.

The Michaels-Dickson Scholar is a young man entering 9th or 10th grade who is outstanding in multiple ways. Candidates must possess strength of character, leadership potential, and academic excellence proven by both his academic record and standardized test scores. Required letters of recommendations from teachers, school administrators, and/or community leaders provide testament to his honor and character. By presenting an outstanding record of participation in activities such as school or club athletics, fine and performing arts, debate, student government, scouting, church or civic activities, or community service, nominees have the opportunity to display their potential to be engaged leaders while at McCallie. Lastly, successful nominees often rank in the top ten percent of their class, maintain a cumulative grade point average at or above 3.5, and score in the top 15 percent of independent school norms on the SSAT. 

In recent years, an average of 100 boys are nominated annually for a Michaels-Dickson Scholarship. All nominees are required to come to McCallie to participate in the Michaels-Dickson Scholars Weekend during which they tour campus, complete an admission interview, and meet current McCallie students, faculty, and staff. 

In the fall of 2021, McCallie will welcome 13 new Michaels-Dickson Scholars, making the current total approximately 65. They join a community of over 300 boys who have attended as Michaels-Dickson Scholars and gone on to make a positive difference to the world with the strongest foundation, preparation, and community McCallie can provide.

If you would like to nominate someone for the 2022–23 class of Michaels-Dickson Scholars, please contact the program director, David Hughes at

Over the course of their 20+ years, Michaels-Dickson Scholars have put up some impressive numbers:

» They hail from 25 states

» Collectively they have earned 44 Ivy League degrees

» The 10 most popular colleges attended by Michaels-Dickson Scholar Alumni are North Carolina, Davidson, Penn, Yale, Princeton, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Stanford, North Carolina State, and Wake Forest

» They have earned some of the most prestigious scholarships at colleges and universities across the country, including the Morehead-Cain Scholarship at North Carolina and the Jefferson Scholarship at Virginia

» They have performed with and earned lead positions in all 12 of McCallie’s music ensembles

» 40% have been inducted into the Keo-Kio leadership organization which is limited to just 15% of the senior class