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Norma Ross Walter Scholarships Awarded

Norma Ross Walter Scholarships Awarded

Virgil Albertini & Emily Simmons
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On Friday, June 1, the Willa Cather Foundation had the pleasure of awarding four Norma Ross Walter Scholarships to female graduates of Nebraska high schools who intend to major in English in college. The recipients were Emily Simmons of Valentine High School, who received $ 2,000 as the first place recipient; Anna Stokely of Papillion La Vista South High School, who received $ 1,000 as first runner-up; and Hailey Hemenway and Emily Zysset, both of Hastings High School, received $ 500 each in a tie for second runner-up.

The Norma Ross Walter Scholarship award-presentation took place as part of the 57th annual Willa Cather Spring Conference in Red Cloud. This year's four finalists, who graduated from their respective high schools in May, gave their original essays on Cather, which is a part of the Scholarship's extensive application process. This event is a time-honored tradition and always appreciated by the Conference attendees.

Since 1987, the Willa Cather Foundation has awarded 33 scholarships totaling more than $144,000 through the Norma Ross Walter Scholarship program. This year marks the 26th anniversary of the Foundation's effort to provide scholarship support to female Nebraska high school graduates who continue their higher education as English majors in accredited colleges or universities.

The Scholarship fund was established through a generous bequest from Norma Ross Walter. A lifelong fan of Cather's work and frequent visitor to Red Cloud, Norma Ross Walter was a firm believer in education for young women.

The scholarship winners and the Willa Cather Foundation owe a debt of gratitude to Norma Ross Walter. The Foundation's scholarship efforts, directed by long-time Board of Governors member Virgil Albertini, are a fundamental part of our educational mission.

"Thank you for selecting me as the recipient of the Norma Ross Walter Scholarship in 2012. It was such an honor to present my paper at the Spring Conference and to meet all the Willa Cather scholars. Thank you for believing in my potential and enabling me to receive a quality education."

--Emily Simmons, Valentine High School