The Alden J. "Butch" Carpenter Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year to first-year Michigan Law students and members of the Black Law Students Alliance (BLSA) who exemplify its namesake's ideals.
Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter entered the University of Michigan Law School in 1977, with the desire to become an advocate for the urban community by using his professional skills in business and law for its benefit and edification. Since February 21, 1978, the Black Law Students Alliance has continued to promote Mr. Carpenter’s vision through the Alden J. “Butch” Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Fund. BLSA established the award "to promote the attributes exemplified by (Carpenter's) life and to motivate the social commitment demonstrated by his professional objectives." In 2013 the Fund awarded a total of $50,000 in scholarships to four deserving students.
This is a recruiting scholarship to address racial diversity in the graduate student population for African Americans admitted to the University of Michigan pursuing a Law degree. This fund is managed by the University of Michigan Alumni Association as part of its LEAD Scholars program.
The Fund is named in honor of Gabriel Franklin Hargo, the first African American to graduate from the University of Michigan—and the first to graduate from the Law School – in 1870. He was only the second African American in the nation to earn a law degree.