Gerald Jones ’25, Mara Strohl ’25, and Jinx Wiener ’25 each recently earned $30,000 scholarships from The Sumners Foundation of Irving, Texas. The Foundation awards these scholarships based on academic excellence, civic engagement, and leadership capacity.

“The Sumners Scholarship is very prestigious,” said Sumners Foundation Chairman Jerry Reis. “Sumners Scholars have significantly contributed to their communities, state, and country. Following in the footsteps of Congressman Hatton W. Sumners, we are pleased to support students working to improve the political system, address issues through public policy, educate others about civic responsibility, and be active, productive members of society.”

The Foundation’s purpose is to encourage the study, teaching, and research into the science and art of self-government so the American people may understand the fundamental principles of democracy and be guided thereby in shaping governmental policies.

“Southwestern has given me many valuable opportunities relating to political science, especially since I started my research job the first semester I got here,” Jones said. “I told Professor [Katie] Aha I wanted to gain research experience and was quickly contacted for an opportunity. The size of Southwestern has made networking more accessible.”

When she received the email confirming her recognition, Strohl said her first thought was, “There is no way this is real!” Strohl, who is looking to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology after graduating from Southwestern, says, “Obviously, the financial scholarship aspect of this is mind-blowing to me, but the opportunities to make connections with professionals in the field I want to go into and get a feel for what their world is like, is priceless. These connections can make a difference when it comes time to apply for graduate programs.”

Strohl credits her leadership in student government and political science coursework for preparing her for this opportunity.

“During the interview process, I leaned on things I learned from classes.”

Sharing similar excitement for the non-financial benefits of the scholarship Jones is looking forward to the lectures he will have access to and learning more about public policy making which will help him in his pursuit of a Juris Doctorate.

Strohl encourages Southwestern students to consider applying to the program.

“If you’re interested in applying for this scholarship, go for it. I didn’t know if I would get it, but I was like, ‘Hey, this is great practice for writing an essay and interviewing’ because I had never done something like this before.”

To learn more about The Hatton W. Sumners Scholars Program, or for additional information about scholarships or financial aid opportunities at Southwestern visit