Hunsaker Scholarship Prize

Investing in Tomorrow's Leaders

The Richard and Virginia Hunsaker Scholarship Prize is awarded annually to a select number of exceptional incoming students from diverse backgrounds.

The highly competitive award meets each recipient’s full demonstrated financial need for all four years at Redlands. It also offers the opportunity to participate in an expenses-paid networking trip to a major metropolitan city where Scholars meet with alumni leaders in a variety of fields.

Each year, our admissions committee identifies students during the application review process who exhibit outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and contribution to their schools and communities. Candidates are then invited to campus to compete for the award, interviewing with a panel of faculty and alumni leaders.

Alumni couple Richard and Virginia Hunsaker, class of 1952, established the Hunsaker Scholarship Prize in 2014 with their transformational gift of $35 million to the University of Redlands. The scholarship program aims to fund a Redlands education for students who will not only become leaders in society, but also will follow the Hunsakers’ example by giving back to their communities and the University.

2020 Hunsaker Scholars


Danielle Baxter '24

Hometown: Seattle, Washington
High School: Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart & George Washington Online High School

During high school, Danielle (Dani) Baxter spent much of her time working with Junior State of America (JSA), a non-profit dedicated to fighting civic apathy, serving as National Director of Public Relations and later as Director of Fundraising, personally raising over $11,000. In addition to her leadership roles, Dani won numerous Best Speaker awards from behind the podium. Beyond JSA, Dani also interned with Young Women Empowered, taught sailing, and performed in Seattle’s Snowflake Lane. After taking a gap year, Dani is excited to be involved in ASUR Senate and plans to enter the Johnston program next year. Dani plans to gain knowledge through both teaching and experience to find (or create!) a career that can help the world. You can always count on her to not only think outside the box, but to never let the existence of a box hinder her ability to grow and help others. 


Dylan Jin-Seok Chae '24

Hometown: Long Grove, Illinois
High School: Adlai E. Stevenson High School

Dylan Jin-Seok Chae is a proud Asian-American with an immense passion for serving and connecting his community. In high school, he held many leadership positions in Diversity Council, the Freshmen Mentor Program, and the National Honor Society and founded the Asian Student Association and East Asia Project. He hosted many cultural events and raised funds for charities such as Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders, the Northern Illinois Food Pantry, and the Thirst Project. As the president of multiple clubs, Dylan brought members of his community together to celebrate diversity through a variety of perspectives and cultural lenses. Having lived among numerous cultures and ideologies, Dylan hopes to find innovative ways to connect the Bulldog and global community. He plans on studying Environmental Studies and Asian Studies and getting involved with the Redlands Bulldog Newspaper and Asian Student Association.


Ari Klausner '24

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
High School: Adelson Educational Campus

Ari Klausner cares deeply about the people in his community. An avid environmental activist, Ari has been a vegetarian for ten years, and has led volunteer groups to clean up areas in Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston. In high school, he took on a number of leadership positions, including president of the Science National Honor Society, captain of both basketball and swim teams, and founder of a historical film club. Ari also volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House, with which he has a personal connection. His sister, who was born with a congenital birth disorder, required a major surgery to improve her quality of life. The Ronald McDonald House gave his family a place to stay while his sister was recovering. At the University of Redlands, Ari is interested in majoring in chemistry, as well as performing research in congenital birth defects. This work would be in his sister’s honor who has overcome tremendous adversity, and is still today, Ari’s greatest role model.


Alayah Lipnick ’24

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
High School: Whitfield School
Alayah Lipnick will be joining the Redlands community as a first-generation student this year. At Whitfield, she was heavily involved in social activism and co-founded her school’s Student Diversity Council. She also served as a student representative for the Equity and Inclusion Task Force, the vice resident of the Black Student Union, and a member of the Women’s Alliance Club. During her time in high school, Alayah was involved in athletics as a member of the varsity field hockey and track teams, and served as varsity cheer captain. In addition to sports and leadership, Alayah loved participating in her school's theatre productions. Some of her most notable roles include Little Inez in Hairspray, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, and Emily in Our Town. Alayah can’t wait to continue her contributions in college and has already become a member of the Redlands Black Student Union and Students Together Empowering Peers (STEP) mentoring program.


Darquez Morrison '24

Hometown: Springfield, Missouri
High School: Parkview High School

Darquez Morrison is always looking on the bright side. A first-generation college student from Springfield, Missouri, he is a Jack-of-all-trades as a member of his high school’s swimming, football, and basketball teams, a math scholar, and Rotary International Club member, while also notching a position in the top 15% of his class and being awarded for excellence in English and science. As a result of his involvement, Morrison realized that he has a passion for helping and including people. As student body president, he made necessary changes for all student voices to be heard and considered. After growing up always wanting to attend college, Morrison looks forward to studying Chemistry, with the hope of becoming a dentist, and getting to know his classmates as soon as students are welcomed back to campus.  


Alena Slapak ’24

Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana
High School: Benjamin Franklin High School
During high school, Alena was involved in many organizations centered around human rights, politics, arts, and culture. She was the president of Amnesty International, community service coordinator of Interact Club, secretary of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, and a photography teacher’s assistant. In addition to school activities, Alena was very interested in participating in multicultural experiences and spent her summers working and studying abroad. During the summer before her senior year, Alena worked as a special needs educator in Mangalore, India, and continued to study intensive Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has a thirst for language and speaks four of them fluently: Tulu, English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Using these language skills, she sources ethically-made goods from India and Brazil for her small fashion business, Aanjali Designs. Alena is planning to major in Global Business with a minor in Photography and hopes, in the future, to own her own business or work toward the advancement of global human rights at the United Nations.