Final Thoughts

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Final Thoughts

Barbara Kennedy

The story of Baylor’s Distinguished Scholars Program, which was recently renamed the Cartter Scholars Program, began in August 2003 when Claire Cassady ’07, Colton Griffin ’07, Corby Howard ’07, and Sandra Lowe ’07 left their hometowns to attend Baylor as ninth grade boarding students as the first scholarship recipients. Since then, more than 60 students have been able to attend Baylor as boarding students after going through the com­petitive scholarship pro­cess. They have gone on to study at Harvard, Berkeley, North Caro­lina, MIT, Georgetown, Sewanee and Stanford among many other colleges and universities. They have hailed from dozens of states and have helped create national awareness of Baylor’s boarding program.

The Cartter Scholars Program exposed me to a multitude of opportunities outside of the classroom that broadened my global perspective and contributed crucially to my development as a student and as a person." - Pongphol (Pete) Harinsuit ’17 from San Ramon, California, attending Brown University

The other story is why former trustee Cartter Lupton ’71 helped launch the program and why he continues to support it. As he recalls, Lupton said he was listening to administra­tive reports at board meetings and hearing the need for a merit boarding scholarship to help keep Baylor competitive in the boarding school market. “The administrators are telling me we need this, and I decided that was going to be the thing that I try to accom­plish with the time that I served on the board of trustees. (Trustees) Ellen Moore, Janice Henderson, Kim Strang and I started selling the program with a lot of help from our families. We went to Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Athens, Bristol, Columbia, Greenville – and we got the money together eventually. We reached our goal of $5.2 million to crank the project up.”

In addition to the annual scholarship winners, all Cartter Scholars finalists automatically become members of the Baylor Harris-Stanford Honors Program if and when they enroll in the school. This short video explains the honors program in greater detail.

Lupton says he has watched it grow and has become “a little more educated on the benefits” of the program, including a rise in the dorm student GPA, which he believes is a direct result of the scholarship “lifting the whole boat.” In a con­versation with Charlie Smithgall III ’61, who is a supporter of the University of Virginia’s renowned Jefferson Scholarship, Lupton gained another perspec­tive. “He said that when you get really smart kids on campus through the scholarship, it will improve your faculty. He said these smart kids expect quality teachers, and they will lift the quality of teaching because they demand it. I am 15 years into supporting this program and still learning about the benefits that the merit scholarship program has at Baylor and what it is doing to change the school. I would like to see it double, and I would like to see merit extended to the day students. Baylor is a lean machine, and it takes the work of everybody in the entire institution to pull and keep that cart mov­ing. We all believe in the importance of education, and one of my family’s traditions is supporting education. I’m just another one in the line to keep on marching.”

You can support Baylor by nominating a student for a Cartter Scholarship. Click here to get started.

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