Two UVA Alumni Receive Knight-Hennessy Scholarships

May 9, 2024 By Matt Kelly, Matt Kelly,

Two University of Virginia alumni will work toward master’s degrees as part of the sixth cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Stanford University.

Nathan Abraham and Amelia Faraco-Hadlock were selected for their independence of thought, purposeful leadership and civic mindset.  The scholarship program – created by Nike co-founder Philip Knight and John L. Hennessy, former president of Stanford University – funds up to three years for any graduate degree at Stanford, including tuition, a living stipend and travel and relocation costs.

“Nathan and Amelia will make an excellent complement to the cohort of scholars,” said Andrus G. Ashoo, director of UVA’s Office of Citizen Scholar Development. “The Knight-Hennessy will provide them with an incredible opportunity to refine their skills, ideas and ambition as public servants.”

Nathan Abraham

Nathan Abraham, a Jefferson and Echols scholar who graduated from UVA in 2020, will pursue a law degree.

“I plan to spend my career helping to change the criminal legal system for the better in places like my home state of Arkansas,” Abraham said. “Progress won’t come easily, and outsized impact won’t come from just being a great lawyer. The Knight-Hennessy program is a dream supplement to my legal education, with training focused on collaboration across disciplines and backgrounds that will be critical to my future efforts aimed at criminal justice reform.”

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A political and social thought and economics double major as an undergraduate student, Abraham has since been an associate consultant at Bain & Co., and completed an externship at The Bail Project. He has also served on the strategy and operations team at the law firm Atticus, working on projects assisting disabled Americans. The scholarship gives him an opportunity to mix with his Knight-Hennessy cohort. 

“I’m most excited to befriend and learn from people I might never have crossed paths with otherwise,” Abraham said. “It’s probably not shocking that I don’t come across many aspiring engineers, astronauts or marine biologists in my current life, and it’s really exciting to know that’s about to change.”

Amelia Faraco-Hadlock

Amelia Faraco-Hadlock, a 2018 Phi Beta Kappa graduate in government with a minor in social entrepreneurship, will pursue a master’s degree in business administration. She has worked as a deputy legislative director for U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton of Virginia and seeks to build upon her policy work to uplift and empower children and families at a nonprofit following her degree. 

“Over the past half a decade, I have had the pleasure of serving as a policy adviser in the U.S. Congress, and making meaningful progress for children and families in Virginia and across the country,” she said. “Through the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program and the Graduate School of Business, I hope I will be able to find new, innovative solutions to bring more resources and awareness to the issues I have spent my career working to address.”

She wants to use the MBA to drive systemic change for gender equity as a social impact leader throughout her career. In addition to serving as a policy adviser on women’s rights, Faraco-Hadlock served as president of the Women’s Congressional Staff Association, where she led initiatives to bolster and grow a strong community for female congressional staff members.

Faraco-Hadlock hopes to build lifelong relationships and connections with the diverse cohort in the Knight-Hennessy program. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage with and develop solutions amongst this extraordinary group of leaders whose unique perspectives, but with a common underlying passion, could lead to the next generation of solutions to change society for the better,” she said. 

Media Contact

Matt Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications