The Foundation has fourteen graduate and undergraduate scholarship programs, seven of which are supported by endowments, in Texas and Oklahoma. In all cases, scholarship applications and administration are handled by the individual institutions.

Working from a pool of candidates deemed qualified in all respects for the Sumners Scholarship by each institution, the Trustees of the Foundation conduct personal interviews of the finalists on each campus and make the final scholarship decisions each spring. In addition to academic excellence, the Trustees seek young men and women who are civically-engaged and posses a capacity for leadership.

The Foundation does not provide applications for its scholarship programs. Those wishing to apply must contact the institution directly. Click on the school's name to be transferred to its website.

Expectations for Hatton W. Sumners Scholarship Recipients

The Hatton W. Sumners Scholarship is a merit-based program.  Successful candidates will demonstrate academic excellence, a sense of civic responsibility and the potential for leadership.  In line with the Foundation’s Statement of Purpose, the Foundation will work to enhance these traits and skills in each Sumners Scholar by making additional, unique educational experiences available. 

The Hatton W. Sumners Foundation’s expectations of its Scholars also are driven by its Statement of Purpose.  The Trustees expect each Sumners Scholar to:

  • Develop or strengthen their understanding of, and appreciation for, the underlying principles of America’s representative democracy;
  • Become politically informed and actively participate in the democratic process on the local, state and national levels;
  • Honor their civic responsibilities by committing their time, talent and treasure to the betterment of the larger community; and
  • Actively assist the Foundation in carrying out its charitable purpose. 
As the Sumners Foundation’s expectations of its scholarship recipients are fulfilled, the Trustees believe it will result in a continually growing corps of talented citizens who are participating at the core of American civic life.

Endowed Law Schools Scholarships

The Hatton W. Sumners Scholarships at the Oklahoma City University School of Law and Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law provide full tuition & fees, a book allowance and a living allowance. This three-year scholarship requires, among other things, that the recipients rank in the top one-third of their class on an annual basis. Four to six new Scholars are selected at each law school each year.

Endowed Undergraduate School Scholarships

The two-year Hatton W. Sumners Scholarships at Austin College, Howard Payne University's Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom, Schreiner University, Southern Methodist University's John G. Tower Center for Political Studies and Texas Wesleyan University are available for students beginning their junior year. Preferred majors are in the area of political science, although scholarships have been granted in education, history, journalism, pre-law and other disciplines.  

Awarded in differing amounts, the undergraduate Hatton W. Sumners Scholarships require the recipient to maintain at least a 3.0 G.P.A. for renewal each semester. Each year, between two and five new Scholars may be selected at each undergraduate school.

Non-Endowed Undergraduate & Graduate Scholarships

A limited number of Hatton W. Sumners Scholarships are available to students for their junior and senior years at Southwestern University, Huston-Tillotson University, St. Edwards University, the University of Dallas and Texas Christian University. Preferred majors are the same as the endowed scholarship programs described above and carry the same academic requirements.   Two to four new Sumners Scholars are typically selected each year at these institutions.

The Hatton W. Sumners Foundation also supports Masters of Public Administration scholarships at the University of North Texas.    Five new Sumners Scholars are selected at UNT each year.

Additional Program Benefits

In addition to receiving varying degrees of financial support for their collegiate or post-graduate educations, Sumners Scholars enjoy special access to other programs sponsored by the Foundation. These currently include private access to speakers at the Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Lecture Series; participation in a variety of public policy, leadership and civic participation programs; and access to several educational and internship opportunities in Washington, D.C.

Among the distinguished figures with whom Sumners Scholars have had private meetings are President Gerald Ford, then-Governor George W. Bush, Queen Noor of Jordan, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Czech President Vaclav Klaus, John Stossel of ABC's 20/20, and Bill O'Reilly of Fox News.