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.

2019-2020 Scholarship Applications

Applications Open: Jan. 1, 2019
Application Deadline: April 1, 2019

How to Apply

Please submit the following materials in a single, multi-page PDF document to info@setc.org by the deadline:

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

One Scholar Will Receive

  • $5,000
  • Free one-year SETC student membership
  • Free registration for the 2020 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.

Selection Process and Timeline:

  • Applications Accepted: Jan. 1 – April 1, 2019
  • Application Reviews / Candidate Interviews: April – June 2019
  • Winning Scholar Announced on SETC Website: June 30, 2019
  • Scholarship Funds Available: Upon Proof of Matriculation, 2019-2020 Academic Year
  • Winning Scholar Attends SETC Convention: 71st Annual Convention; Louisville, KY; Feb. 26 – Mar. 1, 2020


Questions about submitting application materials should be sent to info@setc.org. Other questions about this scholarship should be sent to the Wilson Scholarship Chair Dean Slusser.

2018-2019 Wilson Scholar

Congratulations, Janine Papin!

Janine Papin has worked for Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, FL for 18 years. She is the fine arts department chair, auditorium manager, theater teacher, director, choreographer, adviser, mentor, and sponsor of the school’s thespian troupe. She is also an actor/singer/dancer who performs with several regional theaters in the Central Florida area. Janine was one of two teachers named the “2018 Inspiring Teacher” by the Broadway League Foundation Jimmy Awards. In 2006 she was awarded The H. Benton Ellis Award for Excellence in Teaching. Janine seeks to inspire the next generation of theater artists and create lifelong lovers and supporters of the theater. Her biggest satisfaction comes from sharing her passion for the stage with her students and seeing them succeed. She is overjoyed to be the recipient of the 2018/2019 SETC William Wilson Scholarship. It has been a lifelong dream of hers to go back to school to get a masters degree in Theater Education. “This generous award assists with making that dream a reality!” she says.

Scholarship Stories

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

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.”