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Powell Scholars Program
Callison Hall
Courtney Lehmann, Ph.D.
Program Director
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211


Dinelle Davis
Program Assistant
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA 95211

Program History

The Powell Scholars Program was founded in 2009 thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Robert and Jeanette Powell. They donated $100 million to Pacific, which was the largest one-time gift in the history of the university.


Jeannette and Robert Powell

The Powells had been involved with Pacific since 1989, when Robert Powell began serving as a Regent. Jeanette Powell served as a Regent from 1999 until her death in 2012. She is the only person to have been granted lifetime Regent status. Robert Powell passed away the same year the program was founded, but Jeanette Powell remained passionately involved until her passing in 2012.

The Powells have provided our students with unprecedented opportunities to fulfill their individual goals and to work collectively toward realizing the Powell’s vision for the Program which, in Jeanette’s memorable words, is to “find and follow your passions.” To learn more about our benefactors, see the Pacific Review article, “The Transformative Powell Gift.”

Program Directors

Courtney Lehmann, Ph.D.

Dr. Courtney Lehmann became the Powell Scholars Program's director in 2017. She joined Pacific in 1998 as an Assistant Professor of English. She served as director of the Humanities Scholars from 2011 until 2017, and she was also the Interim Director of Media X. In 2010, she was appointed to the Tully Knoles Professor of the Humanities.

She earned her undergraduate degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her Masters and Ph.D. were earned from Indiana University.

Cynthia Wagner Weick, Ph.D.

Dr. Cynthia Wagner Weick was the founding director of the Powell Scholars Program, having been personally selected for the position by President Emeritus Dr. Donald DeRosa, a personal friend of the Powells. She served as Program Director from its inception in 2009 until her retirement in 2017.

Wagner Weick joined Pacific in 1990 as an Assistant Professor of the Eberhart School of Business. Starting in 2009, she began a joint appointment in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. She served as Interim Dean of the School of International Studies from 2010 to 2012. During her time at Pacific, she earned various awards, including the Distinguished Faculty award in 2005 and the Order of Pacific - the University's highest award - in 2017.

Her undergraduate and Masters degrees were in Crop Physiology from The Ohio State University. She earned her Ph.D. from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.