The University of the South is pleased to announce the creation of a new merit scholarship award for the purposes of encouraging creative writing and creative writers, the Walter E. Dakin Scholarship, for an entering freshman showing unusual promise in creative writing.
The great playwright Tennessee Williams, author of A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and other classics of the modern stage, did not attend Sewanee, but he greatly admired his grandfather, the Reverend Walter E. Dakin, who graduated from Sewanee, School of Theology in 1895. To honor that grandfather, Williams bequeathed the bulk of his estate to the University “for the encouragement of creative writing,” a gesture which made possible the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and its offspring, the Young Writers’ Conference.
Now, thanks to Williams’s generosity, Sewanee is able to offer a merit scholarship, worth about $7,500 per year, to an entering freshman. The student will be selected by the Director of the Young Writers’ Conference and the creative writing faculty of the university, in cooperation with the University’s Dean of Admission, and may hold the scholarship for up to four years.
In this first year, the selection committee has also chosen four upperclassmen to receive the scholarship, in the hopes of drawing attention to the fine work being done in fiction, poetry, and playwriting at the University of the South. In future years, additional scholarships may be made available to promising upperclassmen.