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Scholarships


Department Scholarships

Note: for university scholarships, see the Financial Aid website.


Eligibility requirements: 

All Scholarship recipients must:

  • Be enrolled and complete coursework as a full time English major student in the Fall and Spring semester of the academic year for which the scholarship is held. Students who graduate in December of the year the academic year forwhich the scholarship is held are not eligible. Students who are part time student during one of the semesters of the year the academic year for which the scholarship is held are not eligible. 
  • Be enrolled in at least one English course each semester of the academic year for which the scholarship is held. 
  • Have at least a 3.5 Texas State GPA.
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in the Fall in order to receive the scholarship for the Spring. 

Application Process: 

Students can apply to the department of English scholarships through the BOSS portal.

Once you log in with your net ID and password, you will complete a few questions; if you meet the eligibility criteria for any scholarships, BOSS will list them as “Recommended Opportunities."

The deadline to apply is February 1, 2021.

BOSS will list the required application materials, including:

  • an essay no longer than 500 words explaining why you are majoring in English (and for the Leonard and Elizabeth Wright Scholarship for Future Teachers, also submit an essay no longer than 500 words explaining why you wish to become an English teacher)
  • transcript(s) (may be unofficial)
  • 2-3 sentences introducing yourself to the donors
  • two letters of recommendation via the BOSS portal (Please note: English Department Scholarship Committee members may not submit letters of recommendation. Committee members are Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler, Deb Balzhiser, Cyrus Cassells, Leah Schwebel, Eric Leake, and Kathryn Ledbetter.)

Note: 

  • Students who receive a scholarship must certify that they will enroll and complete the course work at Texas State as a full-time (12 hours) undergraduate student, or as a full-time (9 hours) graduate student. 
  • A student awarded a scholarship as a junior or senior must be enrolled in at least one advanced English course (or graduate course if a graduate student) each semester of the academic year for which the scholarship is held. 
  • Scholarships are awarded for one semester at a time and students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in the Fall in order to receive the scholarship for the Spring.  

Scholarship FAQ

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Scholarship recipient
Judith Caldwell Miller Endowed Scholarship recipient Justin Carroll. Presented by Professor Skerpan-Wheeler.

The Thomas L. Brasher Memorial Scholarship

The Thomas L. Brasher Memorial Scholarship honors a noted Walt Whitman scholar who was Professor of English at Texas State from 1956 to 1977. The author of Whitman as Editor of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle” (1970), Professor Brasher also edited Early Poems and the Fiction (1963), a volume of Collected Writings of Walt Whitman published by New York University Press, and “The Walt Whitman Page” in The Long Islander journal. Well known for excellent teaching, he offered courses in nineteenth century American and British literature. In 1970, he was named Piper Professor. The Thomas L. Brasher Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a full-time graduate student.

The G. Jack Gravitt Scholarship

The G. Jack Gravitt Scholarship honors a Texas State alumnus and Distinguished Professor Emeritus who taught at the university from 1971 until 2000, served as director of first-year composition from 1980 to 1982, department chair from 1983 to 1987, and as Dean of Liberal Arts from 1987 to 2000. In 1974, Professor Gravitt developed the department’s first film course, and he also published and presented papers on Restoration and Enlightenment literature, African American studies, and film. He was proudest of his work as mentor to students and younger faculty. The G. Jack Gravitt Scholarship is given to an MA in Literature student who is also applying for a teaching or instructional assistantship.

The Mary Louise Hightower Scholarship 

 
The Mary Louise Hightower Scholarship honors a former Lieutenant Commander of the U.S. Navy Women’s Reserves who taught English at Texas State from 1947 to 1970. A well-known book reviewer, she specialized in syntax and English literature. For many years, she sponsored the Shakespearean Literary Society (later called Delta Sigma Delta and then Alpha Delta Pi International Sorority). She was one of the first women to be elected to the university’s Faculty Senate. The Mary Louise Hightower Scholarship is awarded to outstanding juniors or seniors.

The Ralph and Francys Houston Scholarship 

 
The Ralph and Francys Houston Scholarship honors a Distinguished Professor Emeritus and his wife. Professor Houston taught Swift, Pope, Milton, the English novel, and the contemporary novel at Texas State from 1937 to 1978. He was the first president of the Faculty Senate (1958-59), departmental chair, and Dean of Liberal and Fine Arts. He served as president of the Conference of College Teachers of English and the Texas Folklore Society and co-founded the Texas Association of Chairmen of Departments of English. To commemorate Texas State’s seventyfifth anniversary, he authored Rosemary for Remembrance: A Memoir, a history of the English department. Francys McNew Houston taught English and served as counselor for students at San Marcos High School and for juveniles supervised by the state district court. The Ralph and Francys Houston Scholarship is awarded to a full-time junior, senior, or graduate student majoring in English.

The Mary Jo Austin McCormick Endowed Scholarship for Poetry

 
The Mary Jo Austin McCormick Endowed Scholarship for Poetry is awarded to an incoming MFA-Poetry student.

The William F. McKeen III Memorial Scholarship

The William F. McKeen III Memorial Scholarship honors a student who earned a BA in English from Kansas State University and in May 2000 an MA posthumously in English from Texas State University. He earned his graduate degree in literature but also wrote for local newspapers, composed and published poetry, and became the first student in the department to register for an area exam in technical writing. After William’s unfortunate death in the semester preceding his graduation, his parents, Charles and Nancy McKeen, endowed the scholarship which is awarded to incoming graduate students in English, in William’s memory.

The Judith Caldwell Miller Endowed Scholarship 

 
The Judith Caldwell Miller Endowed Scholarship honors a Texas State professor who taught the English Romantic Movement, History of the English Language, British literature, and first-year composition from 1971 until her death in 1980. Also keenly interested in Women’s Studies, Professor Miller helped develop that program at Texas State and was one of the first faculty members to teach the Images of Women course. In the late 1970s, Professor Miller was recognized for both her scholarly and administrative talents when she was appointed Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. All who knew her admired her strong will, ironic humor, and dedication to teaching. The Judith Caldwell Miller Endowed Scholarship is given to a full-time upper-level undergraduate or graduate student majoring in English.
 

The Arch and Stella Rowan Scholarship in Creative Writing

 

The Arch and Stella Rowan Scholarship in Creative Writing honors Arch Rowan, co-founder of the Rowan Drilling Company, and his wife, Stella, an enthusiastic gardener whose father was a naturalist and landscaper for several state institutions in Austin. The scholarship is awarded to an incoming MFA-Creative Writing student.  

 

Scholarship recipient
David Stevens Memorial Scholarship recipient Morgan Gross. Presented by Mrs. Ann Stevens.

The Lorin D. Parkin Scholarship

The Lorin D. Parkin Scholarship honors the father of late Texas State University English Professor Diane Parkin-Speer (b. February 19,1941; d. March 14, 2015). Mr. Parkin attended the University of Utah and earned a degree in mechanical engineering. The first in his family to attend and to graduate from college, he believed strongly in higher education. His daughter earned a PhD at the University of Iowa and taught at Texas State over 35 years. The Lorin D. Parkin Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate English major.

The Norman Peterson and Charles Mosley Scholarship

The Norman Peterson and Charles Mosley Scholarship honors two individuals who contributed to the development of the creative writing program at Texas State. Norman Peterson was a professor who taught at Texas State from 1963 until 1992, following a career as a fighter pilot and commercial airline pilot. He was one of the first faculty at Texas State to focus on creative writing. He published an award-winning collection of stories, Rice Country, along with other stories and a screenplay. In 1973, he was named Pedagog Teacher of the Year, and many of his students credit their success as writers to his mentorship. Charles Mosley, cousin of the founder of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and board member of the Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Foundation, is a long-standing supporter of literary programs. The Norman Peterson and Charles Mosley Scholarship is awarded to entering MFA-Poetry students.

The W. Morgan and Lou Claire Rose Fellowship

The W. Morgan and Lou Claire Rose Endowment honors a retired retailer in New Braunfels, Texas, and his wife, an unpublished but prolific novelist who penned eight novels in her last ten years. Mrs. Rose’s love of reading and writing led to her long-term friendship with a 1996 MFA-Creative Writing graduate and eventually to the Roses’ gift to the Texas State Creative Writing Program. Providing fellowships and scholarships to MFA students, the Rose Endowment enables Texas State University to attract some of the nation’s best creative writing students.

The Mamie E. Smith Memorial Scholarship

The Mamie E. Smith Memorial Scholarship honors a writer, artist, musician, world traveler, and teacher of composition, literature, and creative writing at Texas State from 1958 to 1966. In 1965, under the guidance of Professor Smith and Professor Norman Peterson, Persona, the university’s student literary magazine, was awarded first place by the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Professor Smith is remembered for her Hours with Books series, which she conducted for several years with members of the faculty, student body, and community. The Mamie E. Smith Memorial Scholarship is given to a junior, senior, or graduate student majoring in English.

The David Stevens Memorial Scholarship

The David R. Stevens Memorial Scholarship honors a distinguished teacher at Texas State from 1966 until his retirement in 1983. He served fifteen years as graduate advisor and as a member of the University Graduate Council. He was well-known for courses in biography and Victorian literature and for his excellent mentorship. He was an honorary lifetime member of the Conference of College Teachers of English and served as president of the Texas College English Association. The David R. Stevens Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a graduate student or, under special circumstances, to an undergraduate.

Award recipient
Gates Thomas Award for Fiction recipient Kevin Talley. Presented by Professor Jones.

The Mary-Agnes Taylor Scholarship

The Mary-Agnes Taylor Scholarship honors an English professor who graduated from Texas State with a BA in English and Speech and who earned an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies in Creative Arts from San Francisco State University. Professor Taylor authored scholarly and creative works, served on the National Selection Committee for the Tomás Rivera Award for Mexican American children’s and young adult books and on the board of the Children’s Literature Association as associate editor of the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, and taught courses at Texas State from 1967 to 1991. She designed the department’s first young adult literature class and first graduate course in children’s literature. She endowed this scholarship to defray expenses of an English major or minor accepted to read a paper at a regional or national conference, with preference for students presenting on children’s or young adult literature.

The Robert W. and Gloria D. Walts Scholarship

The Robert W. and Gloria D. Walts Scholarship honors a Distinguished Professor Emeritus and his wife. Professor Walts came to Texas State in 1959 and chaired the Department of English from 1965 to 1972. He served as President of the Faculty Senate and Acting Dean of the Graduate School. He was named a Piper Professor in 1982. He wrote William Dean Howells and the House of Harper and edited Howells’ Selected Novelle and The American Southwest: Cradle of Literary Art: Theresa Kayser Lindsey Lectures by John Graves, Larry McMurtry, R. G. Vliet, and Lon Tinkle (1981). He was a popular teacher and mentor. During World War II, Gloria Denton Walts served in the U.S. Navy and was awarded a citation for her bravery in 1943. She was a member of Chi Omega International Sorority and Beta Sigma Phi. The Robert W. and Gloria D. Walts Scholarship is available to full-time juniors and seniors.

The Leonard and Elizabeth Wright Scholarship for Future Teachers

The Leonard and Elizabeth Wright Scholarship for Future English Teachers honors “Deacon” Wright, who taught at Texas State from 1925 to 1954, and his wife Elizabeth. Professor Wright served as the English department’s chair; founded the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta; sponsored the College Star, Pedagog, and Harris- Blair Literary Society and participated in the life of the university and community. He taught Milton, Victorian literature, world literature, and other courses. Elizabeth Coil Wright taught school in Kennett, Missouri, where she met her husband, and both actively promoted the training of teachers. The Leonard and Elizabeth Wright Scholarship is available to juniors, seniors, or graduate students.

The Ione Dodson Young Scholarship

The Ione Dodson Young Endowed Scholarship honors a distinguished professor who taught at Texas State from 1955 to 1973 and was very well-known for her courses in nineteenth-century English literature. Professor Young also taught technical writing, directed over fifteen MA theses, chaired the Freshman English Committee, and served as Director of Freshman English for three years. Her reference book, A Concordance to the Poetry of Byron (1965), has long been considered a standard work. The Ione Dodson Young Endowed Scholarship is restricted to full-time upper-level undergraduate or graduate students majoring in English.

The Ralph Cheyney and Lucia Trent Poetry Prize

The Ralph Cheyney and Lucia Trent Poetry Prize was established by Texas State University alumnus Trent Cheyney and his wife, Markay, to honor Mr. Cheyney’s parents, who were dedicated to helping everyone recognize that use of imagination can enhance the nobility of the human spirit. It is awarded to the student submitting the best poem to Persona, the English Department’s student literary magazine.

The Gates Thomas Fiction Prize

The Gates Thomas Fiction Prize honors a former English professor and chair who joined the department in 1909, when the institution was still the Texas State Normal School. With an interest in Texas folklore, he earned his Bachelor of Literature degree from The University of Texas-Austin in 1900. Later, he studied at the University of Chicago before he earned a MA degree from the University of Missouri in 1922. The prize is awarded to the student submitting the best story to Persona, the English Department’s student literary magazine.

The Sigma Tau Delta Scholarship

The Sigma Tau Delta Scholarship goes to an outstanding member of the Texas State University chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the national honor society for English majors.

Billy G. Moore Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship honors Billy G. Moore (1943 – 2013), who earned an AA degree at Odessa Junior College and moved to Texas State in 1963, where he earned a BA in English and a MA in English/Counseling and Guidance. In 1968, he enrolled at Louisiana State University where he pursued a doctorate in English literature. Billy began his thirty-five-year employment at Texas State in 1965. He taught in the English department for fifteen years, served as Director of Public Affairs from 1986-1999 and Director of Regional and Economic Planning from 1999- 2003. Beginning in 1980, he served also on the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission and, from 1988 to 2000, on the City Council, including two terms as Mayor (1996-2000). His concern to preserve the Edwards Aquifer and San Marcos River culminated in a Habitat Conservation Plan designed to protect endangered species and set limits on aquifer pumping. The Billy G. Moore Scholarship is awarded to a graduate student in literature.

Brunson Family Graduate Scholarship in Literature

 The Brunson Family created the Family Endowment in 1990 to fund a Graduate Scholarship/Fellowship, Department of History, in memory of B. R. Brunson; a Graduate Scholarship/Fellowship for a graduate student in Literature, Department of English, to honor colleagues and students of Luan Brunson Haynes; a Scholarship in International Studies established by Ann Brunson Collins; a Scholarship in Geography and an Endowment for the Center for the Study of Texas Music. Elizabeth Brunson Vickers established the latter two and Luan and John Brunson manage the first two. Dr. Luan Brunson Haynes, Distinguished Professor Emerita, helped found the Women’s Studies Program and Center for Multicultural and Gender Studies. She served as departmental chair from 1972 to 1983 and as Associate Dean of Liberal Arts from 1984 to 1988.

Janie Grayson Graduate Endowed Scholarship

The Janie M. Grayson English Graduate Fellowship honors the mother of Nancy Grayson, Professor of English. Janie loved her family, music, books, movies, and travel to England and France. During her daughter’s six years as chair, she made many friends in the English Department, who enjoyed her witty observations and joie de vivre. The Janie M. Grayson English Graduate Fellowship is awarded to an MA in Literature student.

L. D. and LaVerne Harrell Clark Endowed Fellowship

Dr. L. D. Clark and his wife, LaVerne, devoted much of their life to literature and produced numerous books and studies, many of which focused on the Southwest. L. D. authored several novels, three volumes of short fiction, and many works of non-fiction. LaVerne, a novelist, folklorist, and photographer, produced six works of fiction and non-fiction as well as a collection of photographic portraits of 500 wellknown and emerging writers. Both were members of the prestigious Texas Institute of Letters, and both have been recognized for their generosity as Heroes of Texas State University. They bestowed their home and other property to Texas State to create a quiet and comfortable writers’ retreat in Smithville for Texas State’s talented emerging writers, and they left as a legacy the prestigious Clark Fiction Prize, one of the premier literary awards in the country. In addition, their endowment provides for the support through scholarships of Texas State’s Clark Fellows, outstanding students and writers who receive scholarships to support study in the MFA Creative Writing program.