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College of Arts & Sciences
The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Meredith Thompson Undergraduate Scholarship

Meredith Thompson served with distinction as a special agent with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Meredith served for a brief period in the D.E.A. Columbia, SC office and from 1985 to 1994 she was assigned to the D.E.A.’s Miami office.

Meredith’s memory enjoys a rich history of success during her career with D.E.A. During 1985 basic training, Meredith established new female physical training records which have yet to be broken.

  • 2 mile run record of 12 minutes
  • Highest physical training score for females nation wide

During Meredith’s tenure in Miami, Florida, Meredith participated in hundreds of arrests, investigations, and raids in some of the most dangerously recognized areas of Miami. Agents describe Meredith as a fearless, tenacious, drug agent who was immensely popular with her fellow agents. Meredith was often singled-out as one who maintained the highest standards of the D.E.A.; integrity, dedication, drive, and leadership. During her career Meredith served in various undercover and enforcement assignments overseas. In 1993, Meredith volunteered for the D.E.A.’s most dangerous and demanding assignments. While in training, Meredith excelled and was again recognized for her outstanding physical abilities and mental determination. Meredith was selected as one of only fourteen agents for special operations in the Peruvian Jungle. Tragically, on August 27, 1994, Meredith and four other D.E.A. special agents, were killed while conducting counter narcotics operations in the Jungles of Peru during a search for clandestine cocaine processing plants.

Apart from her work, Meredith was very active promoting all aspects of the University of South Carolina and specifically the football and basketball programs. Meredith played varsity basketball and softball. Meredith served as the self appointed “Ambassador” for the University spreading the news regarding the “USC Gamecocks” throughout Miami and the world. Additionally, Meredith donated many off-duty hours to helping the youth of Miami, through church programs.

This endowment was established in memoriam of DEA Special Agent Meredith Thompson. On August 27, 1994, Thompson was killed in the line of duty in the Peruvian Andes. She had volunteered for Operation Snowcap, whose mission was to eliminate cocaine production in Peru. The scholarship was established to reward those students who exemplify the same qualities Thompson was well known for: personal integrity, professional dedication, and academic scholarship.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must be continuing CRJU majors having successfully conpleted a minimum of 30 credit hours at USC, including 6 credit hours of Criminology and Criminal Justice course work.
  • Recipients must maintain full-time status (at least 15 credit hours per semester) in the department with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States.

Award Summary:

Scholarships are awarded based on demonstrated achievement, leadership ability, community service and on the strengths and coherence of applicants’ responses to an essay question.

Depending upon the availability of funding, the department awards one $1,000 scholarship per year (distributed in two equal amounts of $500 for fall and spring semesters). The award is renewable for up to three years as long as a grade point average of 3.0 is maintained.

Required Documents:

  • Electronic Application via web.
  • Essay: Must be word processed following guidelines
  • Two references: One academic and one service related.


Direct application forms to:

Ms. Patricia Armstrong
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina 29208