Last week we had a presentation on campus about highly competitive graduate scholarships like the Rhodes, Gates, and Mitchell. Historically, we have not had many applicants for these scholarships, but we should. The best students at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology can compete with the best students anywhere. As I shared information about these opportunities with the students, I recalled a conversation I had with my son just over a year ago at our house.
I told him to check the web site of the university he wanted to attend for all the scholarship opportunities for which he might be eligible.
"I did that, Mom. There really isn't anything else."
I looked at the list.
"What about this Scottish Rite Scholarship?" I asked.
"You have to be the son or grandson of a Scottish Rite Freemason for that one," he replied.
"Dude, your father, both your grandfathers, and at least one of your great grandfathers were Scottish Rite Masons."
Sometimes, you need to check their work. Here at Mines, we have a scholarship committee that considers every student's record for scholarships the university sponsors for which they might be eligible. We don't make students apply for them. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of telling some of our students personally that they had earned very generous scholarships.
But there are other scholarships for which students must apply. One of our staff members has kept a list over the years, and it is now on our web site. You might want to scan over it and suggest your son or daughter does the same.
P.S. One of our students who came to the competitive graduate scholarship meeting last year had never thought about applying, but, with some encouragement, did so. Last week he told this year's crop of students that one of the hardest things he had to do was overcome his self-doubt about whether he was qualified for such a scholarship. Travis Davis from Buffalo, South Dakota, was selected last November as one of 12 Mitchell Scholars nationwide. He earned a full ride scholarship to Trinity College, Dublin, to study biomedical engineering starting this fall. It could not have happened to a nicer kid.
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President, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
501 E. Saint Joseph Street
Rapid City, SD 57701