12 Colorado caddies awarded full tuition and housing Evans Scholarships
by Gary Baines
It was a nice bit of symmetry for Randall Thompson.
Two weeks ago, he was among those in attendance at Denver Country Club for an Evans Scholars Selection Meeting, helping interview the caddies who were finalists for the college scholarship.
Fifty years earlier, Thompson was on the other side of the questioning. He also was a finalist for the Evans Scholarship at a Selection Meeting at Denver Country Club. The difference was, back then in the late 1960s, Thompson remembers about 15 people attended the meeting, whereas this year it was about 110.
Either way, the stakes were high. Thompson went on to earn the full tuition and housing scholarship. And it was recently announced that a dozen current Colorado caddies have landed Evans Scholarships, with most destined to live at the house Thompson once did — 1029 Broadway in Boulder — and going to school at the University of Colorado beginning in the fall.
Nowadays, an Evans Scholarship is estimated to be worth $100,000 if renewed for four years.
The scholarship will “not make A difference in my life, but THE difference,” noted Oswaldo Morales, one of the fortunate 12 recipients from Colorado.
The brainchild of Charles “Chick” Evans, winner of a U.S. Open and two U.S. Amateurs, the scholarship dates back to 1930 and has produced more than 10,600 alums nationwide at 19 universities, including over 460 at CU since the 1960s.
A total of about 965 Evans Scholars are currently enrolled across the country, including a record 62 starting this school year at CU. It’s estimated that 275 scholarships will be awarded nationwide this cycle.
The Illinois-based Western Golf Association/Evans Scholars Foundation, which administers the Evans Scholarship, recently announced the new recipients from Colorado.
The WGA has long partnered with the CGA in supporting the scholarship in Colorado. The Evans Scholarship, awarded to high-achieving caddies with significant financial need, is a flagship program for the CGA. With bag-tag sales and Par Club contributions, Colorado donors fully fund the year-to-year scholarship costs at the CU Evans Scholars house.
To qualify for an Evans Scholarship — one of the nation’s largest privately funded scholarship programs — applicants must have excellent caddie records and academic results, show strong character and leadership, and demonstrate financial need. Thirty-two Coloradans applied for the Evans Scholarship this school year.
This year’s class of Colorado Evans Scholarship recipients includes eight young men and four young women. Currently, about one-quarter of CU Evans Scholars are women. Of the dozen, two each caddied at Cherry Hills Country Club, Lakewood Country Club and the Roaring Fork Club in Basalt. A record-tying four incoming Scholars started caddying at the Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy — at either CommonGround Golf Course or Meridian Golf Club. The Academy has produced 17 Evans Scholars since debuting in 2012.
Overall, the incoming group has averaged a 3.8 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale in high school and 116 caddie loops. Seven are members of the National Honor Society. Two will receive three-year scholarships as they’re currently college freshmen. Two are classmates at Basalt High School.
Here are the 12 new Evans Scholars from Colorado:
— Payton Brown of Denver, (Denver) East High School. Caddied at Denver Country Club.
— George Conway of Centennial, Cherry Creek HS. Caddied at Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy at Meridian Golf Club.
— Kaia Dameron of Lakewood, Bear Creek HS (2017 graduate). Caddied at Lakewood Country Club. Is a freshman at the University of Denver.
— Isabell Deak of Colorado Springs, Air Academy HS. Caddied at Broadmoor Golf Club and at Seattle Golf Club.
— Anderson Gillmore of Broomfield, (Westminster) Academy of Charter Schools. Caddied at Lakewood Country Club. The younger brother of current Evans Scholar Jordan Gillmore.
— Kyndall Hadley of Centennial, Smoky Hill HS. Caddied at Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy at CommonGround Golf Course and at Cherry Hills Country Club.
— Oswaldo Morales of Basalt, Basalt HS. Caddied at Roaring Fork Club.
— Cole Prins of Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista HS (2017 graduate). Caddied at Colorado Golf Club. Is a freshman at University of Colorado-Denver.
— Vincent Scarato of Broomfield, Homeschooled. Caddied at Cherry Hills Country Club.
— Samuel (Alex) Seibert of Basalt, Basalt HS. Caddied at Roaring Fork Club.
— Helina Seyoum of Denver, Bishop Machebeuf HS. Caddied at Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy at CommonGround Golf Course.
— Quincy Slaughter of Aurora, Aurora Central HS. Caddied at Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy at CommonGround Golf Course and at Sankaty Head Golf Club in Nantucket, Mass.
All but Hadley (Northwestern) are planning to attend CU.
Among those in attendance for the Selection Meeting at Denver Country Club on Jan. 18 were John Kaczkowski, WGA president and CEO, and new WGA chairman Frank Morley, along with numerous WGA directors and staffers. Many staff members and volunteer leaders from the CGA were also on hand, in addition to plenty of Evans Scholars alums.
“Each of these deserving Evans Scholars epitomizes what our program has been about since its creation in 1930,” Morley said in a WGA release. “Their dedication, hard work and sacrifice is humbling, and we are honored to be able to help them pursue their dreams.”
Evans Scholars have proven to be very high achievers in college, averaging a 3.3 GPA and a 95 percent graduation rate.
Over the last 88 years, the Evans Scholarship has provided more than $365 million worth of tuition and housing to caddies. The annual scholarship costs for Evans Scholars run about $20 million.
This month’s Evans Scholars Selection Meeting was the ninth of an anticipated 20 that will be held nationwide during this academic year.
For those interested in donating to the Evans Scholars Foundation, CLICK HERE.