Outdoor Writers of KS Scholarship

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One of the best-known Kansans of his time, Steve Harper left his mark on Kansas through photographs and words. During his career, he was a photojournalism instructor at Wichita State University, the Wichita Eagle's photography editor and eventually, the newspaper's outdoors writer and photographer. His series in the Eagle on Kansas day trips led to the publication of his popular book, "83,000 square Miles, No Lines, No Waiting," His outdoor page was several times voted the best of its kind in the nation.

Steve died of cancer in 2000, at the age of 55, in the Newton house where he had grown up and raised three daughters. The Harper Memorial Scholarship was started at the suggestion of Governor Bill Graves, among others, as a way to honor Steve's dedication to Kansans and serving the Kansas outdoors. An excellent judge of character, Steve put as much stock in a person's initiative and accomplishments as academic successes. The scholarship committee will give equal consideration to all three qualifications.

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This $1,000 scholarship (paid at $500 a semester) is presented to Kansas youth pursuing wildlife or nature-based careers at Kansas colleges, with Kansas-based career goals. The scholarship is sponsored and funded by the Kansas Wildscape Foundation and the Outdoors Writers of Kansas, a group of assorted journalists, photographers and artists dedicated to sharing the greatness of the Kansas outdoors through print, broadcast and online markets. For more information on the group, go to www.outdoorwritersofkansas.com.

The Kansas Wildscape Foundation is also assisting with funding and administration of this scholarship. 

ELIGIBILITY - Scholarships are available to any graduating senior enrolled in a Kansas high school that plans to attend a college in Kansas and study wildlife or nature-based curriculum or outdoors journalism. University students enrolled in a wildlife or nature-based curriculum, or pursuing outdoors journalism are also eligible. Scholarship award recipients are selected without regard to race, color, religion, or sex. Applicant chosen as the recipient of this scholarship will be required to show proof of full-time enrollment (minimum of 12 credit hours) in order to receive the scholarship funds. 

A letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, coach or employer must be included with the completed application (available by download below). Those hoping for outdoors journalism should send examples of their work. The completed application and supporting documents must be returned to on or before April 15, 2017 to the following address:

Kansas Wildscape Foundation
Attn: Steve Harper Scholarship
2500 W. 6th St., Suite G
Lawrence, KS 66049

Click below to download the full application and guidelines:

Debbie Brandt (Director of Administration - Kansas Wildscape) can be reached at dbrandt@sunflower.com or 785-843-9453 or Michael Pearce, (Outdoors Writer for the Wichita Eagle and Chairman of the Steve Harper Scholarship Committee) can be reached at mpearce@wichitaeagle.com with any further questions.