We lost a great friend on April 25, 2014 when Kris Kishore died. Kris brought many alumni together during our time at the University of Virginia and many Charlottesville residents in the years since graduation. To honor Kris’s memory and continue his legacy of friendship, several friends from near and far—with the blessing and support of Kris’s wife, Katie, and sister Rekha—are leading an effort to establish a scholarship in Kris’s memory that we are affectionately calling “The Kishore.”
In the end, the money we raise is simply a means to a much larger end: To honor Kris’s memory, by helping others and maintaining the community of friendship that Kris created. We hope you will help us create this legacy.
Rising fourth-year University Student Jessica Harris has been awarded the 2019 Kishore Scholarship.
Harris is an Echols Interdisciplinary major from Fluvanna, Virginia, pursuing a self-designed program in Arts Administration, Youth and Social Innovation, and Drama. Her degree program reflects her deep passions for the arts and service, and her activities around Grounds and in the larger Charlottesville community put those interests into action. Harris is the founder of Empowered Players, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing young people with access to the arts and supporting transformative experiences through engagement with underserved communities. Harris is also active in a number of arts organizations at the University—including Kids Acting Out, the UVA Arts Board, and the UVA Arts Council—and several other on-Grounds organizations. In April 2019, the University wrote an article about her accomplishments.
Harris embodies the selfless service that the Kishore Scholarship seeks to recognize. As one nominator observed, “Sometimes I marvel at how she manages to give so much of herself to theater, teaching, and kids—but if you try to ask her, she’ll shrug and brush the question off. It’s what brings her joy and purpose.”
She works passionately to bring people together from different communities. Recognizing that her own rural community is often underserved, Harris has worked to build ties to the University and the larger community. Harris “knows that her own connection to the place she is from enriches the quality of teaching she is able to provide,” one of her nominators noted, and draws on her background to “build trust with community members.”
Harris is deeply committed to the University community and its members. She has formed lasting personal connections with her peers, and she gives generously of her time and energies to support others. Many of her contributions come away from organized groups or activities, enriching the daily experiences of those around her. Harris has a passion for the University and displays an infectious enthusiasm. In short, she has made the University a better place during her tenure here, and will leave behind a legacy of service, connection, and leadership.
Harris was selected from nearly 100 candidates nominated by students and faculty this spring. On April 13, Kishore Scholarship Trustees interviewed finalists and then celebrated at the Fourth Annual K-Fest, a gathering of Kris Kishore’s family and friends to continue the fellowship and community he so lovingly and effortlessly created during his life.
The Kishore Scholarship aims to enable a rising fourth-year student to continue leading a life of public service that inspires others and brings lasting, beneficial change to the community. As the scholarship’s fourth recipient, Harris will receive a $30,000 award toward her continued studies.