The Rudd Foundation is pleased to announce its sixth class of Rudd Scholars, comprised of 30 Kansas high school seniors selected following a competitive application process that focuses on the students and their life stories, in addition to academic accomplishments, test scores and extracurricular activities. The newly selected scholars (full list attached) will bring the total to 111 Rudd Scholars for the 2023-24 school year. Of the new class, 18 scholars will attend Wichita State, 6 will attend Fort Hays State, and 6 will attend Emporia State.
All Rudd Scholars receive a 4-year college scholarship to attend either Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University or Wichita State University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a field of their choice. Each Rudd Scholarship covers all tuition and fees, books, supplies, and on-campus room and board remaining after other aid, grants, and scholarships received by the student. The expected value for the 30 new scholarship recipients is approximately $1.5 million over four years.
“The Foundation is honored to offer the Rudd Scholarship to these exceptional young men and women, and we look forward to watching each of their journeys through our program and into their professional careers,” said Darrell Swank, President of the Rudd Foundation. “Leslie Rudd’s vision in establishing this program was to provide students of this caliber with the opportunity to fully experience college without financial stress, graduate debt-free, and be inspired to pursue their own passions and dreams, all while remaining connected to their Kansas communities. Mr. Rudd would be very proud of this group of students.”
Corri Roberts, Director of the Rudd Scholarship Program, leads the selection, mentoring and support processes with the scholars throughout their college experience. Ms. Roberts remarked on the program’s focus on going beyond meeting the financial needs of the students.
“We view the Rudd Scholarship as much more than a financial investment in our students,” said Ms. Roberts. “We strive to offer these exceptional young people the opportunity to receive mentoring, networking, professional development, and internship opportunities, as well as encouraging them to give back to philanthropic organizations that inspire them. The incredible result of this is a connection with and amongst the scholars that continues beyond their four years in our program.”
For Mr. Swank and the other Rudd Foundation Board members, including Leslie Rudd’s daughter, Samantha Rudd, and sister, Andrea Skibell, as well as long-time friends and business partners, Steven Kay and Pat Roney, the experience of meeting the scholars and learning about their individual stories has been inspiring.
“Each and every one of the Rudd Scholars is extraordinary in their own way, and they have achieved so much personally and academically despite what often seems like insurmountable challenges in their lives,” said Swank. “The Foundation Board members continue to be inspired by the students and feel privileged to be able to support them along with the day-to-day efforts of Ms. Roberts and her team members Alma Hidalgo-Blankinship and Dr. Danielle Sutter. We believe the Rudd Scholars program will continue to have a deep and lasting impact on the state of Kansas, as Mr. Rudd envisioned.”
Please visit scholars.ruddfoundation.org to view the full list of the 2023 Rudd Scholar Cohort.