W. H. Adamson Scholarship Foundation
The W. H. Adamson Scholarship Foundation was created with money donated by Elizabeth W. Baker, a former student who returned to Adamson to teach drama. It was augmented by gifts from former students and PTA members, including a $35,000 bequest by 1923 graduate Virginia Shaw and a $55,000 gift left to the school upon Miss Baker’s death. Longtime principal Howard Allen and his wife, Eva, included the foundation in their wills. These and other more recent contributions have increased the endowment to about $1,500,000. All monies are invested, with only the annual interest used for scholarships.
As of 2012 some 1,214 graduating seniors have received scholarships totaling $1,478,425. Adamson students have been the primary beneficiaries over the years; however, from 1978 to 1993 the awards were expanded to other Oak Cliff Schools. Awards during that time (which are included in the above totals) were $158,900 to 139 students.
Since 1994 the awards have again been limited to Adamson graduates. Until four years ago, scholarships were one-year awards. Today, the one-year prizes are supplemented by several four-year scholarships. One of its first four-year scholarship recipients, Sonia Cabrales, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 1998 and now serves on the Foundation Board as Awards Committee Chair.
Scholarships are awarded to Adamson graduating seniors based on academic achievement and economic need. Qualified applicants, limited to Adamson students, are interviewed individually by the Foundation’s awards committee in early spring, and winners are announced at W. H. Adamson’s annual awards assembly. Recipients, once granted the scholarship, must maintain a 2.5 grade point average and earn at least 12 hours of college credit per semester to retain future allotments of the scholarship, whether for one, two or four years.
The Adamson Scholarship Foundation’s Board of Directors are all graduates of the high school (with one exception being the school’s former longtime counselor, Mary Helen Swaner), spanning many generations. The Board, which serves without remuneration, meets four times a year. Current President of the Board is Bob Johnston, former teacher and a graduate of the 1959 class.