Skip to main content
Schedule a Visit Apply Now

High school, transfer students earn UWA scholarships through essays

UWA student with laptop
Kelly Land, James Pate annual writing competitions carry forward online amid COVID-19 restrictions

Two of the University of West Alabama’s annual writing competitions were held online in April, providing scholarships for high school and transfer students to attend UWA. The Kelly Land Essay Scholarship competition provides a total of $2,500 in scholarships, and the James P. Pate Scholarship competition provides $1,500 in scholarships.

UWA’s Department of Languages and Literature holds the Kelly Land Essay Scholarship competition, now in its 33rd year. Participants are required to write a 300-500-word essay on topics from the importance of sports in preparation for life, persons of influence, life in the South, or favorite literary works. Topics were compiled by the judges.

Mary Kendall Glass, first-place winner in the high school division, will receive a $1,000 scholarship for her freshman year at UWA. Glass, a senior at Patrician Academy, will attend UWA this Fall and major in English. Glass is also a recipient of a Trustee Excellence, Trustee Legacy, and Leadership scholarships.

Baylee House, second-place winner in the high school division, will receive $500 for her freshman year and has earned Tiger Achievement and Leadership scholarships as well. A senior at Meadowview Christian, House will pursue a chemistry degree at UWA this fall.

Ethan Jones, a transfer student from Pensacola State, will receive $1,000 for his winning entry in the transfer student competition. Jones will attend UWA as an integrated marketing communications major this Fall.  

Kelly Land Hester, for whom the contest was named, taught English in the 1970s at UWA (then Livingston University). She was known for her persistence and patience with students.

UWA’s Department of History and Social Sciences hosts the James P. Pate Scholarship competition, now in its 11th year. Participants are required to write a 300-500-word essay on topics from the US Civil War, the political and economic institutions of the 13 colonies, and other historically significant events. Topics were compiled by the judges.

Mary Grace Sheffield, first-place winner in the high school division, will receive a $1,000 scholarship for her freshman year. A senior at Southern Academy, she will attend UWA this fall and major in business administration. Sheffield is also a recipient of Presidential, Trustee Legacy, and Leadership scholarships.

Cayla Miles, second-place winner in the high school division, will receive $500 for her freshman year and has also earned the Director’s Award and a Leadership scholarship as well. A senior at Pinson Valley High School, Miles will begin to pursue a degree from UWA’s Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing this Fall.

James P. Pate is an Emeritus Professor of History at UWA, having served as professor, department chair, dean, and vice president of academic affairs over the course of 30 years.

Consistently ranked as one of Alabama’s best value institutions of higher education, UWA places a strong emphasis on assisting in funding the education of students. For more information about UWA scholarships, visit scholarships.uwa.edu.