Close Scholars Program

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

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Established in 1998 with generous gifts from the Springs Close Foundation, the Close Scholars Program supports the commitment of the Springs Close Foundation to give back to the communities of York, Lancaster, and Chester counties, as well as Winthrop's vision of enrolling "an achievement-oriented, culturally diverse and socially responsible student body." The idea that drives the Close Scholars Program is that service is vital to the complete education of college students because future leaders have a civic responsibility. Through the establishment of the Close Scholars Program, the Springs Close Foundation, together with Winthrop University, enables talented and committed students to develop the social consciousness and inner strength that comes from helping others, as well as a legacy with a rich yield to the greater community.

The Legacy of Mrs. Anne Springs Close 

miguel-caldwell-anne-springs-closeAnne Springs Close was born on November 15, 1925, in Charlotte, North Carolina to Elliott White Springs and Frances Ley Springs of Fort Mill, South Carolina. She became interested in the region’s nature at an early age through activities like hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding. Much like her family, Close also became devoted to improving the lives of those around her. Through connection with the outdoors, she wanted to help others appreciate nature and find joy there. This inspired her to create the Anne Springs Close Greenway in 1995. 

With a heart for service, Close always worked to support the advancement of others. This led to the creation of the Close Scholars program at Winthrop University in 1998. Modeled after the Bonner Scholars from Wofford College, she desired a program that would give to students while also encouraging them to give to the community.

Mrs. Close’s dedication to service and heart of gold has impacted a generation of Scholars, and continues to do so despite her passing at the age of 95 on August 20, 2021.

Close Scholars Experience

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The benefits of being chosen as a Close Scholar are numerous and include:

  • The fulfillment of four years of college with the financial assistance of the Springs Close Foundation
  • The opportunity to serve the community
  • The opportunity to gain leadership skills through participation in service and enrichment activities
  • The freedom and creativity to explore new service opportunities
  • Support from the program coordinator and other Close Scholars

Close Scholars must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Attend in-service activities planned at least once a month by the program coordinator
  • Follow all policies of the university
  • Maintain a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA throughout all semesters
  • Volunteer 112 hours per semester in one or more pre-approved service sites
  • Applicants must be a South Carolina resident

Interested in becoming a Close Scholar? Applications are available here!