Lola and George D. Aiken Scholars Program

Please note: The Aiken Scholars Program is currently undergoing a redesign. During the redesign process, we will not be admitting any new first-year students into the Aiken Scholars program for Fall 2020-Spring 2021.


First-year applicants with outstanding academic records are invited to apply to become Aiken Scholars. Each year, 20-30 students are selected as Aiken Scholars.


  • Connect to a community of students who are committed to environmental sustainability.
  • Build leadership skills and gain valuable service experience as you become an environmental professional.
  • Participation in the spring NR 99 seminar for Aiken Scholars only.
  • Priority housing in the Aiken Scholars’ Village in the environmentally-themed Sustainability Learning Community at Harris Millis Residence Hall.
  • Priority-in-class registration.
  • Initiation fee paid for an honorary society membership.
  • Participation in the Honors Spring Seminar Course in sophomore, junior, and/or senior year (optional).

Aiken Scholars Seminar (NR 99)

The Aiken Scholars Seminar course provides students the opportunity to delve into case study of a significant environmental issue. Topics change each year and involve guest speakers, field trips, and interactive discussion led by RSENR faculty members. Prerequisite: Open only to first-year Aiken Scholars. One credit.

History of the Program

Lola Aiken

The late Lola Aiken was a long-term supporter of the University of Vermont and the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. With her husband, the late George D. Aiken, Governor of Vermont (1937-1940) and U.S. Senator (1940-1974), she was a tireless champion for the environment and education. Lola served on the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources Board of Advisors and the George D. Aiken Lecture Series Board of Directors and sponsored the Lola Aiken Award in Natural Resources.

University of Vermont Honors College

Academically high achieving students are invited to become part of the UVM Honors College when they are admitted to the University. Students already at UVM may apply for admission in the spring of their first year. Learn more about applying to the Honors College for sophomore year.  Learn more about Honors College requirements for students in the Rubenstein School.

Sustainability Learning Community

Many Rubenstein School students live in the Sustainability Learning Community, which provides environmentally-themed programming and opportunities to enhance environmental leadership skills. Learn more about UVM's Sustainability Learning Community.

Students around tree stump

Jericho Research Forest work day with Aiken Scholars, RSENR Stewards, and USDA Multicultural Scholars.