William E. Wilson Scholarship

About the Scholarship

The William E. Wilson Scholarship is awarded to a secondary school teacher pursuing a graduate degree in theatre, or speech and theatre at a regionally accredited graduate program. The award is named for longtime SETC member and patron William “Bill” Wilson and is made possible by a $100,000 endowment given by its namesake in support of secondary school theatre educators across the Southeast. It is a dream come true for contributor Wilson and for many future recipients. SETC extends its heartfelt thanks to Wilson for his vision and support of secondary school theatre.

Selection Process and Timeline

  • Applications Accepted: Jan. 1 – April 1, 2020
  • Application Reviews / Candidate Interviews: April – June 2020
  • Scholarship Funds Available: Upon Proof of Matriculation, 2020-2021 Academic Year
  • Winning Scholar Attends SETC Convention: 72nd Annual Convention

One Scholar Will Receive

  • $5,000
  • 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 a legal resident of state in the SETC region*
  • You must have at least one year of experience as a full-time teacher and director of theatre in a secondary school in the SETC region*
  • You must enroll in an accredited graduate program within the SETC region* within one year of being selected for scholarship

* The SETC region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Application Materials

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

  • A personal letter outlining plans and objectives
  • A complete resume
  • Two letters of recommendation


Questions about submitting application materials should be sent to info@setc.org.

Scholarship Stories

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

Janine Papin ~ 2018-2019 Scholar

“Having been a teacher for almost 20 years, it is a privilege to, once again, be on the ‘receiving end’ of education. Since starting my Masters in Musical Theater Education at The University of Central Florida this past year, I have been inspired, challenged, and motivated in new and exciting ways. I am so grateful for the opportunity to fulfill my lifelong dream of having a master’s degree. Being the recipient of SETC’s 2018-2019 Wilson Scholarship has helped me enormously with achieving my goal. I am beyond thankful for this scholarship. With my thesis centered on theater for social change, I hope that the work with my students will be an impetus not only for relevant discussions, but for positive and lasting change.”

Tricia Oliver ~ 2016 Scholar

“The William E. Wilson Award allowed me to focus on my studies at Columbus State University in theatre education. I am fortunate that a master’s program exists so close to me and that the funds could be used for tuition and books. The award also provided validation to school administration and faculty that the work I do in educating my students and others on the value of theatre education on the stage and in life is vital in developing the total person. Thank you, SETC!”

Jason Hill ~ 2015 Scholar

“Receiving the William E. Wilson Award in 2015 helped me start my graduate program at Columbus State University in Columbus, GA. As a veteran teacher of 17 years, it was time to finally start an M.Ed. program and the Wilson Award helped make this financially possible. I want to thank SETC and Bill Wilson, founder of the fund, for providing me with this financial gift, and I encourage other professionals, young and old, to apply.”