The Alumni Leadership Scholars program was established 30 years ago in 1983. The original concept was patterned after the Jefferson Scholars program at the University of Virginia. The program funds scholarship for twenty-four student through an endowment housed in the College Heights Foundation. Each student receives a four-year renewable scholarship totaling $4,000 ($1,000 per year). The recipients must remain in good standing with the university and take part in various opportunities for leadership training.
Currently, sixteen of the scholars are designated as the Calvin M. and Rosella Spivey Isbell Scholars, one scholar is designated at the Nancy Luther Scholar, one scholar is designated as the Bob and Norma Jean Kirby Scholar, one scholar, specifically from the Northern Kentucky area, is named the Tom Ellis Scholar, and one scholar is named the John and Carolyn Ridley Scholar. In addition, the Society of African American Alumni funds scholarships for four students in the program. Scholarships are distributed in $500 increments each semester and grades are reviewed at the end of each semester.