Marian A. Smith Costume Scholarship

About the Scholarship

The Marian A. Smith Costume Scholarship is awarded to a student pursuing a graduate degree in costume design and/or technology. The award is named after Marian A. Smith who served as Executive Director of SETC for 26 years and helped make SETC what it is today.

‏‏‎‎‎2020-2021 Winner

Erin Rodgers Headshot - Smith 20-21

Erin Rodgers

Erin Rodgers is a third-year MFA student in Costume Production at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She is the graduate research assistant for the Costar collection of vintage clothing, housed in the Department of Dramatic Art. She has also worked with PlayMakers Repertory Company, in residence at UNC-CH, as a first hand and draper throughout her graduate education. In 2019 she was a first hand at Utah Shakespeare Festival, where she was scheduled to return for summer 2020 until COVID prevented it. She previously attended Furman University, where she earned a BA in Art and was introduced to theatrical costuming as a career pursuit. Erin has worked regionally across the southeast, including at Heritage Theatre Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and Orlando Shakespeare Theater, as well as in NYC at Radio City Music Hall, Parsons-Meares, and several years at New York City Ballet. Her particular costume interests include historical patterning, studying extant garments, and costume collections management.

  • Applications Accepted: Jan. 1 – April 1, 2020
  • Application Reviews / Candidate Interviews: April – June 2020
  • Winning Scholar Announced on SETC Website: June 30, 2020
  • Scholarship Funds Available: Upon Proof of Matriculation, 2020-2021 Academic Year
  • Winning Scholar Attends SETC Convention: 72nd Annual Convention
  • $1,500
  • Free one-year SETC student membership
  • Free registration for the 2021 SETC Convention
  • Photo and bio recognition on the SETC website

Candidates must meet each of these qualifications to be eligible for this award:

  • You must be planning to attend an accredited program of graduate studies in Costume Design and/or Costume Technology as a full-time student during the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • You must have graduated from, be currently attending, or have plans to attend an accredited academic institution in one of the following 10 states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia or West Virginia.

For consideration, eligible candidates must submit the following materials by the deadline:

  • A personal letter outlining plans and objectives
  • A complete resume
  • 10 samples of completed work or renderings (digital images or website links)
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of three to five references
  • Complete, current transcripts from all colleges/universities attended

Questions about submitting application materials should be sent to

Scholarship Stories

Recent Smith Costume Scholars share what winning the scholarship meant to their studies and how the award funds helped them pursue their ambitions:

Chloe Moore headshot

Congratulations, Chloe Moore!

Chloe Moore is currently earning her MFA in costume design at Boston University. Her recent work includes Boston University’s The Lathe of HeavenThe Scarlet Ibis with Boston Opera Collaborative, BU’s productions of Angels in America Parts I & II as well as serving as one of the resident costume designers for the 2019 season of the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Next up she is working with a team of theatre artists to remount a new version of The TEAM’s Particularly in the Heartland as a part of Bazaar Productions. Through her work, she seeks to use the history and language of clothing to illuminate collaborative storytelling of all kinds. See more of her work at

2018-2019 ~ Toni Gary

“The Marian A. Smith Scholarship is a wonderful opportunity that granted me the ability to expand my techniques and further my development as a designer and technician. It allowed me to invest in computer programs and equipment to push my boundaries and delve into the digital world of design and tech while also helping me expand on my professional advertising. I am extremely appreciative of the growth that was only possible through the scholarship and SETC’s generosity.”

2015 & 2016 ~ Alyssa Couturier-Herndon

“The Marian A. Smith Scholarship has had a tremendous impact on my professional development. It has enabled me to purchase new equipment and pursue advanced theatre opportunities that would otherwise have been impossible. I am extremely grateful for this support.”

2014 ~ Jacquelyn Loy

“The Marian A. Smith Costume Scholarship provided me with the means to better promote my work. It allowed me to invest in a higher quality printer and a scanner that can accommodate my larger renderings, which can be up to 11″ x 17″. This has helped me in keeping my online portfolio up to date, but also to print images for my physical portfolio — helping me advertise myself and find work in different states every year and continue to grow as an artist and technician. I am so grateful to this scholarship and the amazing opportunities I’ve had as a result of SETC’s generosity and support! It also helped me to find confidence in my work and encouraged me to continue to push my boundaries as a leader in the workplace.”