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Friends Make These Opportunities Possible

In the thirty-five years of programming for gifted children, The Center has always provided financial assistance to students who could not attend otherwise. The following generous people have made — and will continue to make — an impact on countless gifted and talented young people because they have endowed scholarships. However, there are always more qualified students who need financial help.

If you, or a business or foundation that you know, would be willing to offer scholarship support, please contact Dr. Julia Roberts, Executive Director of The Center for Gifted Studies or Haley Ashley, Donor Experience Officer. Opportunities for providing scholarships can be funded on an annual basis for the cost of the program or on an ongoing basis through an endowment. Whether it be an endowment or a one-time gift, we would be delighted to hear from you.

The CGS Alumni Fund

When The Center turned 30, a group of devoted Alumni led by Wake Norris (VAMPY 1989-92; Counselor 1995-98) started the Alumni Fund. It is designed to not only provide scholarships for summer programming, but it is also intended to provide monies for a Coordinator of Alumni position. The goal was $500,000 in five years.

The Doctors Mody Minority Scholarship

Doctors Bharat and Bharati Mody of Glasgow, KY, have established a scholarship for minorities to attend VAMPY. The doctors explain, “We have felt that minority students do not get the same exposure and opportunity as others. They have a desire and a will but often do not have the means to fulfill that desire.” This family has a long relationship with The Center. Both Mody daughters attended camps: Bhavana (SCATS 1991) and Bhavini (SCATS 1993-94). Dr. Bharat Mody served a two-year term on the Advisory Board for The Center for Gifted Studies.

The Lynne Elizabeth Hamlett Memorial Scholarship Awards

This annual scholarship is intended to help qualified McCracken County, KY, students who require financial assistance to attend summer programming. In memory of a teenage relative who died in a tragic car accident, Jackie, Bill and Lauren (SCATS 1996-97) Capp, formerly of McCracken County, established the fund in 1997. While the family lived in McCracken County, their daughter benefited from the efforts and programs promoted and/or provided by KAGE, Mc-KAGE, and WKU’s Center for Gifted Studies. They appreciated the positive differences created by tailored educational challenges, intellectual interaction and social/emotional support, both within and outside the classroom. Their generosity will ensure that young people from McCracken County will be able to attend the programs for years to come.

The Phyllis Minton Endowed Memorial Fund

In 2019, the family of Phyllis Minton created a scholarship in her memory. Phyllis Minton was a mathematics teacher in the Grayson County Public Schools for 25 years. The Phyllis Minton Memorial Scholarship will go to a student who is gifted and talented and eligible to attend any of the programs hosted and administered by The Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University. Special consideration will be given to students who demonstrate an aptitude or interest in mathematics.

The Riley Jane Lawrence Memorial Scholarship


In 2008, VAMPY alumna Sarah Markham Lawrence (1988-90) and her husband, David, lost their only child, four-year-old Riley Jane Lawrence. VAMPY friend Melissa Middleton Biliter (1988-90) wanted to honor Riley Jane’s life by creating a scholarship in her memory. The Riley Jane Lawrence Memorial Scholarship will go to a student who is gifted and talented and eligible for VAMPY but cannot afford to attend without assistance. All contributions made to this fund will not only honor the memory of a special little girl, but they will also support the education and enrichment of a gifted child in need. Sarah and her sister Katherine Markham Ballard (1997-99) both attended VAMPY. Their goal is to endow this scholarship through individual contributions to it.

The Stephanie D. Woodward Scholarship

“Stephanie made a bigger impact on my life than anyone I’ve ever met…. Stephanie Woodward taught me to make the most of every situation, how to believe in myself, and how to form friendships that last forever,” writes Cynthia Gilson (VAMPY 1984-87), former VAMPY roommate of Stephanie Woodward (VAMPY 1984-86). “At the end of the first summer, we promised to keep in touch. We did, and we were roommates for a second and third summer. As time passed, we both matured and our friendship grew. A few months before our fourth summer, Stephanie sent me a card telling me she was looking forward to our fourth and final summer program. She ended with ‘only 43 days more’ until camp. About a month later, on May 31, 1987, Stephanie was killed in a car accident.” People who loved Stephanie set up a scholarship in her memory. It is awarded to a VAMPY student who exemplifies high ethical and scholastic standards and has a need for financial assistance in order to participate.

The William Gladstone Begley II Scholarship

Gifted and talented students from eastern Kentucky wishing to attend SCATS or VAMPY have the opportunity to apply for this scholarship. Originally from Hazard, KY, Dr. W.G. Begley and the Begley family have been ardent supporters for excellence as well as a dear friend to The Center. Drs. Dick and Julia Roberts wish to memorialize this fine man and his memory by perpetuating one of his missions in life: the love of learning. His daughter Jennie Lou Eidson was a counselor for SCATS and VAMPY for several years. Others who wish to help endow the scholarship should contact the Center.

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Fund for Excellence

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Alumni Challenge Fund
Contact our Development Officer to discuss ways to support The Center.Haley Ashley - WKU Center for Gifted Studies Philanthropy

Haley Ashley
Donor Experience Officer


P: 270.745.4483
E: haley.ashley@wku.edu

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 Last Modified 6/22/23