When she officially retires from her role as vice president for student life in January, E. Royster Harper will not only leave a legacy that can be found in every corner of the institution but also a scholarship to benefit future University of Michigan students.

Headshot of Royster Harper
E. Royster Harper

The university created a scholarship bearing Harper’s name to honor her more than four decades of service. The last 19 of those years she served as vice president for student life.

Gifts to the endowed fund will provide financial aid to future generations of students during their time at U-M, in recognition of the support Harper provided to countless students.

Harper was recognized Dec. 5 with a resolution from the Board of Regents commending her service to the university and awarding her the title of vice president emeritus of student life.

“Dr. Harper has been deeply committed to the development of students and staff and has motivated and supported countless individuals,” read Regent Katherine E. White. “The University of Michigan is a far better place because of her truly extraordinary service.”

“Royster is a Michigan Wolverine through and through,” said President Mark Schlissel. “She has been one of the most experienced and effective leaders I have worked with. As far as I’m concerned, she has set the standard for student life leaders in our nation.”

Harper earned the reputation of being a passionate advocate for the whole student, including physical and mental well-being. She led efforts to prevent sexual misconduct and adeptly diffused conflict countless times throughout her time on campus.

Among a host of accomplishments and significant influence on campus, she also championed efforts to improve student space — whether new and renovated housing and dining, the Trotter Multicultural Center, the Michigan Union or recreational sports facilities.