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  • The Hudson and Holland Scholars Program is a scholarship and grant program for high-achieving students from communities that have been historically marginalized because of their race and ethnicity.

BLOOMINGTON – Bryson Tucker, Indiana’s newest McDonald’s All American and a key part of Mike Woodson’s re-establishment this spring, added a new tag this summer that came as a surprise and that he wears with pride:

Hudson and Holland scholar.

When Tucker was recently informed that he had been selected for this long-standing and prestigious program, he said he was incredibly proud to be included in this decades-old program.

“It’s great, especially for me,” Tucker said. “It shows that you do your thing on the field and then in the classroom.”

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Tucker, a member of the National Junior Honor Society, was also a model student. His mother, Tina, said his family always valued academic excellence as much as athletic success.

That’s why Bryson’s recent call to tell her he had been accepted into the Hudson and Holland program was special.

“It was both an honor and a surprise when we received it,” said Tina Tucker. “It’s such an outstanding program and it has done so much good.”

The Hudson and Holland Scholars Program “is a scholarship and grant program for high-achieving students from communities that have been historically marginalized because of their race and ethnicity.” It is named after two inspirational figures in the university’s history: Dr. Herman C. Hudson, one of IU-Bloomington’s first black leaders and founder of the Department of African American Studies, and Dr. James P. Holland, who taught and researched at IU for more than three decades and is estimated to have taught more than 11,000 students over the course of his career.

Each Hudson and Holland Award is automatically renewed annually provided the recipient maintains a cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

The program has a financial component, which Tucker had to turn down because he already has a full athletic scholarship (he reached out to the program to make sure someone would receive the financial aid he would have otherwise received). But there are a variety of other resources for Hudson and Holland Scholars that Tucker can take advantage of, including diversity resources, help with planning course registration, connections to various student organizations, health support, mentoring and more.

It also made a significant impression on him when, following his selection, several alumni of the program reached out to him congratulating him and offering support.

“He really understood what it meant to be recognized at all,” said Tina Tucker.

The award is a testament to a basketball player who valued academic success so much that he took time off from the sport during the summer months of his career to tutor fellow students.

Athletic achievement would always be important to the Tuckers, his mother said, but only if it was accompanied by academic success.

“It made me proud,” she said, “because I know how much dedication, time and focus he puts not only into basketball but also into education.”

Listen to Mind Your Banners, our podcast all about IU Athletics, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.