Wichita State awards newest $50,000 Barton Scholarship to student from Italy


Trinity Soderstrom, who recently received her U.S. high school diploma while living abroad in southern Italy, has been awarded the 2021 Wichita State University Clay Barton Scholarship.

She will receive $12,500 a year for four years to attend Wichita State. The $50,000 Barton Scholarship is one of the largest business scholarships in Kansas.

Soderstrom’s mom, aunts and grandparents attended Wichita State, making it her family’s legacy school. She has been involved in a variety of activities while growing up, including cross country, volleyball, ballroom dancing and studying violin.

As a self-proclaimed “former military brat turned expatriate,” Soderstrom has lived throughout Europe, mainly in Germany and Italy, and has become proficient in several languages along the way. Soderstrom hopes to incorporate her interest in business and her love for languages to pursue a job with an international corporation or work in certain departments of the government.

While attending Wichita State, Trinity Soderstrom plans to study international business and economics with additional studies in Russian, linguistics and international studies. She will begin classes in fall 2021.

Barton Scholarship History

In 1991, the late Rent-A-Center co-founder W. Frank Barton, who provided the naming endowment for Wichita State’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 replace Clay’s presence, it is a powerful legacy.

This legacy speaks to the richness of the Barton tradition 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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