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Richard Murray Scholarship

Dr. Richard Murray is a senior research fellow at the Hobby School of Public Affairs. A political scientist, Murray co-founded the Center for Public Policy, the precursor to the Hobby School of Public Affairs, in 1981, and served as the director of polling operations for nearly four decades. In addition to polling, Murray’s expertise includes election trends and practices, and partisan political change in Texas.

The Richard Murray Endowed Scholarship was established in 2008 for the purpose of honoring Professor Emeritus Dr. Richard Murray's service to the Houston community and over 50 years of teaching and research at the University of Houston. 

Richard Murray at City Hall

From left to right: Mrs. Elyse Lanier, former Houston Mayor Bob Lanier, Dr. Richard Murray, and Debbie Hartman-Murray

An Overview of Dr. Murray's Accomplishments

  • Taught political science at UH since 1966
  • Founded the Hobby Center for Public Policy (HCPP) in 1981 with a small group of UH faculty
  • Established the HCPP’s polling operations in 1981
  • Co-authored Pro-Growth Politics Change and Governance in Houston (1991)
  • Served as director of the HCPP from 1996-2006
  • Created the HCPP’s Houston Government Internship Program in 1996
  • Launched the computer assisted survey system in the Survey Research Institute in 2000
  • Awarded the Bob Lanier Chair in Urban Public Policy in 2004 

The Award 

The Richard Murray Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding undergraduate student who shares a passion for politics and policy, has a strong academic commitment and demonstrates a dedication to public service. Private funds were raised to endow this scholarship.   

Eligibility Criteria 

The scholarship recipient(s) will be determined by the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs Scholarship Committee. Criteria includes the following:

  • Scholarship prospect exhibits leadership qualities as determined by the Hobby School Scholarship Committee.
  • Scholarship applicant should have a strong academic commitment and demonstrate dedication to public service.
  • Scholarship applicant should demonstrate a passion for politics and policy.
  • Scholarship applicant can be a certified full-time undergraduate or graduate certificate or degree-seeking student in good standing at the University of Houston.
  • Scholarship recipient must maintain a GPA in accordance with the standards set by the Hobby School Scholarship Committee.
  • Scholarship recipient may accept other scholarships and grants in conjunction with the Dr. Richard Murray Scholarship.
  • Funds can be used to cover expenses for tuition, books, fees and/or supplies for the coming academic semester. Any expenses of a recipient in excess of the amount deposited must be borne by the student.


Download the spring 2023 application. 
The application deadline is Friday, April 14.  Multiple awards of $2000 are available.

Congratulations to Mya Little, 2022 Richard Murray Endowed Scholarship Recipient


Political science major Mya Little has been awarded the Richard Murray Endowed Scholarship in recognition of her strong academic performance and passion for politics and policy. The scholarship is named for Professor Emeritus and Hobby School Senior Research Fellow Richard Murray, co-founder of the Center for Public Policy and well-known political analyst and pollster.

The highlight of Little’s recent internship at Houston Crackdown in the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security included being a part of the host team to Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Killeen, Texas native works in the UH Center for Empowerment as a student leader and mentor and is president of the Black Pre-Law Student Association. In addition, Little volunteers time to electoral politics and campus activities.

View Past Recipients