Topeka student wins $48,000 Wichita State scholarship


Austin Rea, a senior from Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Kansas, has won the 2020 Wichita State University Clay Barton Scholarship.

He will receive $12,000 a year for four years to attend WSU. The $48,000 Barton Scholarship is one of the largest business scholarships in the state.

Rea has participated in a variety of activities including debate, forensics, National Honor Society, Youth Group and weight training. As a member of National Honor Society, he was elected as the first officer in addition to being a youth leader at his church, allowing him to demonstrate his leadership abilities.

While attending Wichita State, Rea plans on majoring in economics. He will begin classes in fall 2020.

Barton Scholarship history

In 1991, the late Rent-A-Center co-founder W. Frank Barton, who provided the naming endowment for WSU's Barton School of Business, established a scholarship in his son Clay’s name.

Clay Barton died from cancer in 1988 at the age of 20, cutting his promising life short. While the Clay Barton Scholarship does not substitute for Clay’s presence, it is a powerful legacy.

This legacy speaks to the richness of the Barton tradition here at Wichita State. Barton Scholars are expected to be the “best of the best,” excelling in academics, leadership and service, fitting the pieces of their lives intricately into a structure that has lasting value.

The candidates face a rigorous set of challenges in competing for the Clay Barton Scholarship.

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