Audrey Scholars

There’s an intriguing nuance in the United States’ gift tax code which says that paying directly for education or medical expenses doesn’t count as a gift and there are no limits. So to run an experiment around this exception, and in honor of WordPress turning 20 years old, we are excited to announce the Audrey Scholars program, which provides 100% scholarship to selected members, renewed annually.

The program is aimed at children of parents or guardians who have contributed significantly to open source, or have been significant in our principal Matt Mullenweg’s life, though anyone can apply.

Currently there are 13 scholars. As Audrey’s investments grow and become liquid, we will expand the program as much as sustainable.

Audrey Scholars are prompt to move forward the culture and society by committing to:

  • Be kind.
  • Be a great ancestor.
  • Contribute and create.
  • Learn as much as possible.
  • Build for future generations.
  • Whatever they do, do it well.
  • Publish their work and progress. (Blog!)
  • Leave everything better than they found it.
  • Get as hot as they can, and as cold as they can, regularly.
  • Use and contribute to open source wherever possible, and embody open source ideals around freedom, autonomy, liberty, and human rights wherever they can.

Every Audrey Scholar receives a small medal coin to keep in their pocket to remind them of the scholarship and the above principles. They are asked to annually sign a paper stating those principles to remain in the program, which will be kept in a library they’ll have access to. If they disagree with any of these principles, people are welcome to leave the program at any time — there’s no obligation. Audrey Scholars also have access to a private, encrypted messaging network they can communicate with each other on.

“The more you know, the more hooks you have to hang knowledge on, the faster you’ll learn.”

— Ivan Sutherland

To apply or nominate to the Audrey Scholars program, send an essay to scholars at this domain, and reference your connection to Open Source.

For further instruction or advice, we defer to the wisdom of Kevin Kelly.

(Version 1.3, updated 2023-05-27.)