The Sumners Scholarship

The Sumners Scholarship

Thanks to the generosity of the Sumners Foundation, rising juniors (i.e., ~60 semester hours completed at the end of the spring semester) at Howard Payne University interested and invested in civic engagement and leadership may apply for admission into a highly competitive and richly rewarding program.

Sumners Scholars receive invitations to colloquia featuring some of the world’s most notable leaders. Past speakers have included President Gerald Ford, Benjamin Netanyahu, Queen Noor of Jordan, George Will, Clarence Thomas, James Baker and many more. Intensive policy weekends and leadership seminars are offered to Sumners Scholars at no cost.

The Foundation’s mission is “to encourage the study, teaching and research into the science and art of self-government, to the end that the American People may understand the fundamental principles of democracy and be guided thereby in shaping governmental policies.” (Source)

Scholarship and Terms

The Sumners Scholar program is a four-semester commitment. As an investment in the Scholar’s promising academic and professional future, the Sumners Foundation provides Scholars with a $7,500 per semester scholarship for four semesters. Within the terms of the Foundation’s award and the HPU Financial Aid policies, scholarships are in addition to existing aid up to the total cost of tuition, fees, room and board.

For information regarding other available scholarships, loans and grants, contact HPU’s Office of Student Financial Aid.

Qualifications and Selection

Sumners Scholar applicants must be United States citizens, demonstrate interest in civic leadership and engagement, and have at least 60 semester hours by the beginning of the fall semester following their selection. Transfer students must be concurrently accepted for admission into Howard Payne University.

Up to ten applicants will be nominated for consideration by the Trustees of the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation. Final selection will follow personal interviews on the Howard Payne University campus by a committee of Sumners Foundation Trustees. Selection is based on academic proficiency, extracurricular achievement, apparent capacity for public service, and information furnished in the written application.

Selected Scholars will be required to maintain a minimum GPA and to attend specific events throughout the following four semesters of their Scholar program. These details will be provided in the application packet and/or by the Director of Development, Mr. Charles Lewis. Please contact Mr. Lewis at


Sumners Scholar Application
Sumners Scholar Recommendation Form
Sumners Autobiographical Essay – RTF Template
Sumners Autobiographical Essay – Word Template

Detailed instructions are provided on the second page of the application form. Applicants should right-click the Application link and Save as a PDF to your computer. Use the most recent version of the free program Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete and save the application file. A hand-signed hard copy is the preferred delivery method. For pre-application, please submit the Recommendation Form. Please note that applicants will arrange for submission of two recommendation letters directly to the foundation in the formal application process. It is the applicant’s responsibility to check with their referees on the status of their requested recommendations. Applicants must also complete the requested autobiographical essay and provide an up-to-date resume to complete their application packet. (NOTE: Please submit unofficial transcripts for the pre-application; if you are nominated to submit a formal application to the Foundation, you will need to arrange for the delivery of official transcripts of all college work).


The pre-application deadline is February 9; qualified students must submit applications either by mail, email or hand delivery to Charles Lewis, director of development, 325-649-8069:


Sumners Scholar Application
c/o Director of Development
Howard Payne University
P.O. Box 2369
Brownwood, Texas 76804



HPU Advancement Office
1209 Fisk Street
Brownwood, Texas 76801

Nominees will be subsequently furnished access to the online system by which final applications are made to the Sumners Foundation (due March 6, 2022).

For information about applying to Howard Payne University, visit the HPU Admissions page.

Sumners Scholar Alumni Update

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