Two new graduate fellowships will be available next year to students in the College of Education and Human Services at A&M-Commerce, thanks to the estate of alumna EdWinnie Brown McWhirter.
Assistant dean Juan Araujo, Ph.D., said the college will begin accepting applications for the McWhirter Graduate Fellowship in spring 2022. He said he hopes the first recipients will be selected in time to begin taking classes in summer 2022.
“We will award two $20,000 scholarships each spring until 2031,” Araujo said. “One for education students and one for human services students.” He said the fellowships will adjust in 2031 to $15,000 per student, provided the endowment earns that much per year in interest.
Students can apply for the McWhirter Graduate Fellowship by submitting a proposal of work during the spring semester. As a condition of acceptance, recipients agree to complete their degree in either four or five semesters.
A lifelong educator, McWhirter earned her bachelor’s degree in education from East Texas State University (now A&M-Commerce) in 1943 and her master’s degree in 1951. Her teaching career crisscrossed the state of Texas with stops in Paducah, Waco and Hondo, where she taught 34 years before retiring.
Upon her passing in 2018, she left her estate to A&M-Commerce (with the exception of a few small bequests) to establish graduate fellowships in education.
“The McWhirter Graduate Fellowship provides financial support to graduate students through their program of study and enhances their marketability upon graduation,” Araujo said. “In lieu of entry-level experience, McWhirter fellows will gain much-needed mentorship while engaging in real work to facilitate research with faculty who are renowned in their fields.”