Giving Day 2018: Support California Community College Students

February 18, 2018


"The Dickens Universe has, in a word, changed my life. The Dickens Universe’s appeal for the transfer-bound community college student lies not only in scholarly enlightenment and activity, it is also fun," asserts Joshua Commander, former Community College Scholarship recipient. "I learned more about Great Expectations during this one week than I did from all my previous readings of it combined, thanks to… brilliant lectures, group discussions, and activities."

Each summer, UC Santa Cruz is transformed by the Dickens Universe conference into a Victorian playground where people of all background—students, teachers, members of the general public—join world-renowned scholars to study and discuss Victorian literature.

Attending the Universe has a lasting impact on community college students. Beth Hightower, our 2015 sholarship recipient, first met Professor Jos Lavery, who would become her honors thesis advisor at UC Berkeley, at the Dickens Universe. This past fall, she applied to Ph.D programs in English and has since been accepted into programs at Harvard, Rutgers, UT Austin, and UC Davis!

In total, it costs about $2,500 in travel, accommodations, and units—which includes 5 units of UC-transferable credit—for an undergraduate student to attend the Dickens Universe conference. This is a pretty steep price for most students, but the Dickens Project currently offers one full scholarship each year to an outstanding California Community College applicant. We want to increase the number of scholarships provided and are asking your support to help us do so.


Joshua Commander, our first scholarship recipient, discusses how the Dickens Universe impacted him. Learn more by watching his interactive presentation.

Save the Date!

The 24-hour pledge drive starts at 12:00 AM on Wednesday, February 28. On this day, the Dickens Project will raise money to send additional community college students to the upcoming Dickens Universe conference.

Your donation to the Dickens Project will bring more California community college students to the Dickens Universe. Your support will make a difference!


» Add the event to your calendar

» Donate to the California Community College Scholarship fund