Walter Hurst Sophomore of the Year Scholarship announced

Published 10:12 am Saturday, October 5, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


John Paul Sulak was presented with the Texas-Oklahoma Kiwanis Foundation Walter Hurst Sophomore of the Year at the Orange Kiwanis meeting on Thursday at Reel Cajun.

Sulak was joined by his parents, Robert and Cathi Sulak as he was honored.

Walter Hurst was a long-time member of the Texas-Oklahoma Foundation Board and financial supporter of the Texas-Oklahoma Foundation, according to the Texas-Oklahoma Kiwanis Foundation website.

He proposed and lobbied the Texas-Oklahoma Board for three years to start a scholarship fund for sophomores. Finally, in 1979-80, they agreed to start the “Walter Hurst Sophomore of the Year Scholarship.” In recent years, the program has normally been referred to as “Sophomore of the Year or SOTY.”

The Scholarship award is not based on academics, but on leadership qualities. A goal is to seek out, recognize and develop leadership potential commencing with high school sophomores, and to encourage and prepare the next generation of civic and corporate leadership for America’s future.

A second goal is to help sophomores gain experience and confidence in following written instructions when applying for scholarships.

A third goal is to educate people in the schools and communities about the Kiwanis organization.

The number of scholarships awarded from year to year depends on the amount of money available from the Texas-Oklahoma Foundation. Each club in the District is asked to contribute a minimum of $5 per member as an annual gift to the Foundation. Special recognition is given to District clubs for a gift of $10 per member.