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Four Incoming Freshmen Awarded Prestigious Full-Tuition Scholarships at Southwestern College

Four high school seniors who have committed to attend Southwestern College in the fall of 2020 have been awarded full-tuition scholarships.  They are Faith Smith, Port Orchard, Wash.; Caitlin Estrin, Rancho Mirage, Calif.; Liam Cunningham, Medicine Lodge; and Carson Clum, Conway Springs.

“We are excited to announce the selection of our full-tuition scholarship recipients,” said president Brad Andrews. “It is a joy to welcome these four along with the rest of the incoming Class of 2024 to our Builder family. Having had the opportunity to interact with many of the scholarship competitors, I can attest that this a wonderful group of students, with unique talents and perspectives. We look forward to the fall when they will join an excellent community of faculty, staff, coaches, and returning students here on campus." 

The Pillars Scholarship, a merit-based award that recognizes two students who demonstrate outstanding academic abilities, will provide full-tuition support to Cunningham and Clum. The Moundbuilder Spirit Scholarship recognizes two student leaders who are well-rounded, hardworking, and community-minded. The Moundbuilder Spirit Scholarship will provide full-tuition support to Smith and Estrin. Each of the scholarships is renewable for four years and valued at approximately $150,000.

Carson Clum Carson Clum is the son of Jay Clum and Karen Clum and attends Conway Springs High School.  He plans to major in biochemistry and is interested in pharmaceutical research.
Liam Cunningham Liam Cunningham is the son of Joyce and Bradly Rucker and attends Medicine Lodge High School.  He plans to major in English education and is interested in theatre and band.
Caitlin Estrin Caitlin Estrin is the daughter of Garrett and Helen Estrin and attends Rancho Mirage High School.  She plans to major in biology and will be a part of the Southwestern College women’s soccer team.
Faith Smith Faith Smith is the daughter of Adam and Amanda Smith and attends South Kitsap High School.  She plans to major in biology and will participate in volleyball. She is also interested in participating on the Green Team and in the Discipleship program at Southwestern.

The college received a record number of applications for both scholarship competitions Stephannie DeLong, director of admission at Southwestern College.

“The response to both full-tuition competitions was outstanding this year; we received nearly 200 applications to compete,” says DeLong. “The students who we invited to compete traveled far and wide to campus on February 1 and 8. We had families from across the midwest attend, but we also had students travel from as far away as California and Washington to be a part of the day. Each competitor completed a timed essay and a faculty/staff interview.”

Southwestern's competitive full-tuition scholarship program began in 2016. As the number of students applying for admission to Southwestern has grown, the number applying to compete for the full-tuition competition has also increased. Since the beginning, the full-tuition program has attracted a talented and diverse group of students to apply. Each year a large proportion of the students who compete for the full-tuition awards, but are not selected as the recipients choose to come to Southwestern.

“The Pillars Scholarship and Moundbuilder Spirit Scholarship attract students who demonstrate strength of character and academic curiosity, students who find Southwestern to be a great fit, students who become great Builders," said Andrews. "My congratulations to this year’s group of recipients, we know as they are strengthened during their time at Southwestern, our college will be strengthened by their addition to our community.”

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