Alumni give back through scholarships

Association awards students for more than just grades


Assistant Principal Amy Boone

Haley Miller, Reporter

In 1991, the SHS Alumni Association awarded five scholarships, overall totaling $1000. Now, 27 years later, that number has grown to 66 scholarships, making the grand total for this year over $66,000. According to Kay Watson, a retired SHS English teacher, currently part of the association, this is one of the many reasons the Alumni Association is special. Its scholarships are awarded to students with a variety of strengths, from academics to sports to community involvement.

“It’s not just for your 4.0 students,” Watson said. “It’s far-reaching.”

Watson has presented her own scholarship, entitled “Bowles/Watson Families Scholarship,” alongside Steve Bowles since 2011. Their requirements are a 3.8 GPA or higher in all required English classes and proficient writing skills, but other donors are allowed to formulate their own criteria. Watson says the fact that alumni scholarships can apply to all different kinds of students is what makes them stand out from other scholarships. They don’t cover only academically or athletically gifted students.

The association’s annual event, a banquet for all scholarship recipients, will take place on May 21 in the Fieldhouse. Watson helps organize the banquet and participates in the selection committee. She enjoys this work with the association because of how it benefits students.

“One of my favorite days of the year is going to present a scholarship,” Watson said. “My second favorite day is the night of the banquet.”

According to Assistant Principal Amy Boone, the association organizes everything to do with the scholarships, but SHS provides the application forms for convenience. She says the scholarships are different from others because they act as direct donations. Students can choose how they want to put the money toward their higher education.

“(The scholarships are) our Southport family and alumni giving back to Southport kids,” Boone said. “It’s very convenient.”