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.

Application Deadline
April 3, 2023 at 11:59PM ET

  • Applications Accepted: January 1 – April 3
  • Application Reviews / Candidate Interviews: April – June
  • Scholarship Funds Available: Upon Proof of Matriculation, upcoming Academic Year.
  • Attends SETC Annual Convention
  • $5,000
  • Free one-year SETC student membership
  • Free registration for the following year’s 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

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:

Erin Gill has had the privilege of working with theatre students throughout the state of South Carolina for the past eleven years.  She received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with a K-12 teaching certification from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 2011.  She spent 2 years teaching at Ashley Ridge High School in Summerville, South Carolina, where she acted as the inaugural theatre teacher and performed with the Footlight Players. After moving to Greenville, South Carolina in 2013, Erin worked as the theatre teacher at Woodmont Middle School from 2013 to 2018, where she was named teacher of the year for the 2015-2016 school year. In 2018, Erin accepted her current position as co-theatre director at Woodmont High School, where she has directed, designed, and produced many pieces, including Matilda the Musical, Annie, Radium Girls,and I Bring You Flowers, which was named the first alternate to represent South Carolina at the International Thespian Festival in 2020. Erin serves as Co-Lead Theatre Teacher for Greenville County Schools and Vice-Chair for the High School Division of the South Carolina Theatre Association and has performed around the upstate. She is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Education from Mississippi University for Women. Erin has two beautiful boys and an amazing husband whose support makes her dreams possible.

Donna Seage is a theatre educator from Oakland High School in Rutherford County, TN. She teaches as an adjunct for the theatre department at Middle Tennessee State University and is the co-founder of the Tennessee All State Theatre Event, the largest high school theatre audition event in the state of Tennessee. She is pursuing an MFA in Design and Production through the University of Memphis with a focus in costume design. She has worked professionally with The Nashville Shakespeare Festival and The Arts Center of Cannon County. She lives in Murfreesboro with her husband Todd, and is the proud mother of Jack and Jane.

Kristin Lundberg - WIlson 20-21

Kristin Lundberg

Kristin Lundberg (she, her) is an M.F.A. playwright and director at Hollins University whose plays have been produced and performed in New York City, London (UK), Virginia, North and South Carolina. She is in her 15th year of teaching performing arts in public schools. Kristin is dancer and actress and has served as the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare’s Sister Company, an all-female theater company she founded in 2008 dedicated to producing plays by women. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild, League of Professional Theater Women, International Thespian Society, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Actors’ Equity Association.

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.”


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