Wichita East student named as Wichita State’s 2023 Linwood Sexton Scholar


Wichita State University has selected the 2023 recipient of the Linwood Sexton Scholarship: Grecia Esparza from Wichita East High School. Esparza will receive a full-ride scholarship to attend Wichita State this fall.

Grecia Esparza

Grecia Esparza

Esparza is planning to study secondary education for mathematics at Wichita State. As a student at East High School, she is highly involved in a variety of activities — including the Latino Club, French Club, Students Against Prejudice, National Honors Society and AVID. She also volunteers for a summer camp, where she oversees activities and leads a group of 6- and 7-year-olds.

“We have a very tight-knit little AVID family here, and Grecia has been such an amazing addition to our class,” said Kayla Conely, Grecia’s AVID and English teacher at East. “While her experiences in life have matured her, she still remains genuine and sincere to everyone she meets. She is always smiling, even in the face of adversity.”

Esparza has established herself as a peer leader among her classmates.

“You can ask anyone who has Grecia in one of their classes: She is the best go-to study buddy. She doesn’t just work hard so that she herself succeeds, she pulls everyone around her up with her,” Conely said.

About Linwood Sexton

Linwood Sexton was born and raised in Wichita. While attending East High School and University of Wichita, he was known for his outstanding athleticism. Named All Missouri Conference First Team for three consecutive years, he still holds the school career rushing record of 1,995 yards. He is also a Shocker Sports Hall of Fame and Kansas Sports Hall of Fame honoree.

After graduating from WU in 1948 with a bachelor of arts in education, Sexton began a teaching career at L'Ouverture Elementary and later became area sales Manager of Hiland Dairy. He was an active community leader and served on numerous boards — including the Kansas Board of Regents, the YMCA Board of Directors and the Citizens Advisory Committee for Civil Rights in Agriculture. His tireless campaigning for equal opportunity and social justice earned him the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

Jim Mann, a 1956 graduate of WU and former chair and president of SunGard Data Systems Inc., established the Linwood Sexton Endowed Scholarship in 2000 to commemorate the contributions of such a dedicated individual.

The Linwood Sexton Scholarship is a four-year award that pays for tuition and fees up to 15 credit hours per semester, a book stipend and on-campus housing. It is one of the largest scholarships awarded on a bi-annual basis.

About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling almost 22,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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