In 1993, the Women's Alabama Golf Association established a Scholarship Foundation Trust as a 501(c)3 entity, to assist deserving female golfers from Alabama in obtaining four years of higher education. The first Board consisted of only three members: Jean Miller, President; Chris Marr, Treasurer and Ann Watlington, Scholarship Chairman. Scholarships were to be given to high school seniors who had achieved academic excellence, shown leadership and were active in the community. Applicants are in need of financial assistance and have an interest in golf. The first scholarship was for $500 per academic year for four years at an Alabama institution of higher learning.
That first scholarship was awarded to Hanna Krehling of Foley High School. Hanna graduated in 1997 from Spring Hill College with a Masters Degree. This scholarship was named in honor of Stone Hodo of Marion, Alabama. Stone was a guiding force in the earlier years of the Women's Alabama Golf Association. She served as treasurer for the Association, as well as mentor for many young girls throughout the state. She was involved in teaching and playing golf with young people in the Marion area for over 75 years. Stone encouraged all girls and women to play and enjoy the game. The WAGA selected Stone Hodo as the recipient of their Special Award in 1989.
Other recipients of the Stone Hodo Scholarship are Amanda Stimmel (2001) of Falkville High School, who graduated from Samford's McWorter School of Pharmacy in 2005 and Hailey Lann (2005) of Haleyville High School, who is currently attending the University of Alabama and will graduate in 2009.
In 1996, the second scholarship was named in honor of Ann Samford Upchurch of Birmingham. Ann was an excellent competitive golfer and won many championships. She was a leader in golf administration. She served as President of the Women's Alabama Golf Association, was the founder and first President of the Ladies Birmingham Golf Association and participated in many civic organizations. She was a member of the Western Golf Association and Southern Golf Association, as well as the USGA Women's Committee. Ann's passion was junior girls' golf. She was a consistent supporter and mentor for many girls in Alabama. She was honored with the LBGA Leadership Achievement Award in 1985 and the WAGA Special Award in 1988.
The Ann Samford Upchurch Scholarship was awarded to Kristen Prickett of Scottsboro High School. Kristen graduated from Auburn University in 2001. Staci Morris Woodfin, Prattville High School, was the recipient of this named scholarship in 2001 and graduated with a Masters degree from Auburn University of Montgomery in 2005.
Nicole Goodnight, Hewitt-Trussville High School, was the recipient of a scholarship in 1997 and graduated from the University of Montevallo in 2001. Currently, there are four recipients of WAGA scholarships in college. They are: Holly Radford, Athens High School attending the University of Alabama to graduate in 2006; Alisha Allred Crossley, a 2003 scholarship recipient from Oak Grove High School, currently attending Athens State University and scheduled to graduate in 2007; Joy DuBose, an additional 2003 recipient, from Wetumpka High School, attending Troy University and scheduled to graduate in 2007; and Hillary Howell of Geneva High School, who was awarded the 2004 scholarship and is attending the University of South Alabama where she will graduate in 2008.
The amount of the scholarship, currently $2500 per academic year, is paid directly to the accredited institution of the applicant's choice in the state of Alabama. One-half of the amount is paid at the beginning of the school year and the remainder is paid upon notice that the recipient has been accepted for the next term. Renewal of the scholarship is subject to annual review of performance, interest and need. The recipient must maintain at least a C+ (2.4 out of 4) her freshman year and B- (2.8 out of 4) thereafter.
The Scholarship Program is administered by the Board of the WAGA Foundation Trust . Decisions of the Board of Trustees are based on the submitted application and a personal interview. The current Board now consists of eight members: Chairman, Chris Marr; Treasurer, Mary Dean Gray; Scholarship, Ann Watlington; and Sid Ellis, Susan Carver, Betty Palmer, Janet Haines and Lisa Graham. The Executive Secretary is Jean Miller.
2009 WAGA State Four-Ball
Mountain Brook Club
1025 Montgomery Highway . Suite 210 . Birmingham, AL 35216
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