F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship

Purpose and Criteria for Selection:

In January 1998, SAA Fellow, past president, and long-time member F. Gerald Ham and his wife Elsie established the F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship Fund. The purpose of the fund, endowed in 2008, is to provide financial support to graduate students in a professional archival studies program. Criteria for selection of the award recipient includes the applicant’s past performance in her/his graduate program in archival studies as well as a faculty member's assessment of the student’s prospects for contributing to the archives profession. Selection will be made based on merit.

Eligibility: Please read this section carefully.

The scholarship funds must be used to support the graduate archival education of a student who is studying at a United States university program that meets the criteria for graduate education set forth by the Society of American Archivists' Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies. The student must have successfully completed a minimum of three (3) semester credit hours, or the equivalent, of a course(s) meeting the definition of "core archival knowledge" presented in the Guidelines. The course(s) must be completed by the time of application (February 28).

Sponsor and Funding:

The Society of American Archivists Foundation.

Selection Committee:

The Ham Scholarship Subcommittee of the SAA Awards Committee is composed of three SAA Fellows and one of the co-chairs of the Awards Committee (ex officio).  One member of the subcommittee shall be appointed each year by the SAA President-elect to serve a three-year term. The senior member of the subcommittee in years of service shall serve as its chair.

Scholarship Award:

A scholarship of $10,000. Also included is complimentary registration to the SAA Annual Meeting in the year in which the scholarship is received. The scholarship funds must be paid to the student's academic institution.

First Awarded:


Application Deadline and Requirements:

Preview the application and apply. All applications must be submitted by February 28 of each year and include the following:

  • A cover letter stating the applicant's interest in the scholarship, describing the applicant's performance in their archival education coursework, and providing background on the applicant’s interests and accomplishments.
  • A current curriculum vitae.
  • An official transcript of the applicant’s grades since entering the graduate program. NOTE: Allow enough time to get transcripts by application deadline.
  • One letter of recommendation from an instructor in the applicant’s graduate program in archival studies. NOTE: The reference should upload the letter of recommendation to the online form by the application deadline.
  • An essay (no more than five pages in length) that demonstrates what it means to “think like an archivist.”  NOTE: Applicants should create an analytic or interpretative essay  from their personal viewpoint. The essay must be titled with applicant’s name on the title page, double-spaced, with standard margins and any citation style; a bibliography or citations, though not necessary, will not count as part of the five pages. The submission may not be a summary of research conducted as a student, a course or seminar paper, or a published article.

F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship Recipients:

2023:  Olivija Liepa (New York University and Long Island University)

2022:  Sarah Shepherd (Simmons University)

2021:  aems emswiler (University of Arizona, School of Information)

2020:   Elena Hinkle (Simmons University)

2019:   Erin E. Voisin (Louisiana State University) 

2018:   Julie Botnick (University of California, Los Angeles)

2017:   Alexandra M. Wilder (Drexel University)

2016:   Katherine Madison (University of Pittsburgh) 

2015:   Noah Geraci (University of California, Los Angeles)

2014:   William J. Levay (Pratt Institute)

2013:   Catherine L. Miller (Clayton State University)

2012:   Jarrett M. Drake (University of Michigan) AND Nathan Sowry (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

2011:   Eric Willey (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

2010:   Venus E. Van Ness (State University of New York at Albany)

2009:   Andy (Jonathan) Uhrich (New York University)

2008:   Emiko Hastings (University of Michigan) AND Becky Robbins (Simmons College)