Four Incoming Freshmen Awarded Prestigious Full-Tuition Scholarships

Four high school seniors who have committed to attend Southwestern College in the fall of 2023 have been awarded full-tuition scholarships.  They are Patrick Reeder, Paola; Emma Willesden, Hoisington; Rylee Frager, Derby; and Arayia-Kristian Holder, Wichita.

“We are excited to welcome these four incredible young people to our Builder Family – they along with the rest of the incoming Class of 2027 will bring much joy and possibility with them to campus and to Winfield next August,” said Liz Frombgen, Southwestern College President. “It is difficult to capture just how talented and unique the students who came to compete for the full-tuition scholarships are; we are so fortunate that the majority of the finalists have chosen to make Southwestern their home for the next four years”

The Pillars Scholarship, a merit-based award that recognizes two students who demonstrate outstanding academic abilities, will provide full-tuition support to Reeder and Willesden. 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 Frager and Holder. Each of the scholarships is renewable for four years and valued at approximately $150,000.

Moundbuilder Spirit Scholarship

Rylee Frager Rylee Frager is the daughter of Becky and Joey Casey and Eric Frager and attends Derby High School.  She plans to major in business and participate in Leadership.
Arayia-Kristian Holder Arayia-Kristian Holder is the daughter of Dr. Terrance and Cherrie Holder and attends Wichita Southeast High School.  She plans to major in education and participate in the performing arts.

Pillars Academic Scholarship

Patrick Reeder Patrick Reeder is the son of Jeff and Elizabeth Reeder and attends Paola High School.  He plans to major in accounting and sports management and participate in men’s basketball.
Emma Willesden Emma Willesden is the daughter of Andrea and Jason Ingram attends Hoisington High School.  She plans to major in psychology and participate in softball.


According to Stephannie DeLong, associate vice president for admission, the college received a number of applications for both scholarship competitions.

“With over 100 students attending the Pillars and Moundbuilder Spirit competitions from all over the United States, we were excited to host such accomplished students,” DeLong says.  “The finalists invited to campus demonstrated their leadership and academic excellence in essays and interviews and exemplify the heart of true Builders.  We are honored to welcome so many wonderful students to our campus this fall.”

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.

“In addition to our Pillars and Moundbuilder Spirit scholarships, we also offer a transfer full tuition scholarship to one incoming transfer student per year,” DeLong adds.  “Applications for the transfer competition open in April with competition on campus this summer.”

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