Valparaiso University Bloom Scholars Join the Campus Community

September 21, 2023– Making the transition from high school to college is difficult, and Valparaiso University wants to make sure that transition does not act as an obstacle for students. The first cohort to embark on the summer bridge plus four-year Bloom Scholars Program began in the summer of 2023. The program was created to ensure that everyone, despite their varying backgrounds, is prepared to thrive at Valpo. The Bloom Scholars Program is part of Valpo’s commitment to exceptional learning experiences as described in Uplift Valpo: Our Beacon for the Journey Forward. Ria M. Thompson ’27 was one of those first scholars to take part in the program. 

Bloom Scholars Program

“I wanted to make connections and learn the campus more effectively,” Ria said. “It helped me more than ever to think that I could learn how to be comfortable with myself, and comfortable by myself if needed.” 

Bloom Scholars are given the opportunity to live on campus and experience real university-level coursework before the start of the semester to better orient themselves to the new environment. These classes help students develop their skills in studying, writing and critical thinking, while providing them with two credit hours in science, two in English, and a $500 scholarship for their first semester. Students in this cohort also boosted their math skills with ALEKS, a self-paced mathematics module. 

According to Ria, the faculty and student mentors were the highlight of the whole experience. 

“They were the most help I could have asked for to help me through assignments,” Ria said. “And the mentors were such a blessing in teaching us how college life was.”

The Bloom Scholars Program honors the legacy of the late Alan Bloom, Ph.D., a much-loved faculty member, campus leader, and recipient of Valpo’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Award. The name is in recognition of his dedication towards fostering diversity, and his many humanitarian contributions to both campus and the Valpo community. 

All first-year students are encouraged to apply to the Bloom Scholars program for the unique experience and opportunity to be part of a community. Applications are followed by an interview and a formal acceptance or denial. For more information, visit the Bloom Scholars Program website at