Barton School surprises Maize High student with 2024 Clay Barton Scholarship

The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University awarded Faith Swart, a Maize High School senior, the 2024 Clay Barton Scholarship. The $50,000 scholarship is one of the largest business scholarships in Kansas.

Barton School and Maize High School officials joined in surprising Swart with the ceremonial scholarship check during one of her classes Feb. 7.

“I was not expecting it at all,” Swart said. “Now that I’ve won it, I’m able to do so much more. This will open up opportunities like internships, a sorority and clubs that I wouldn’t have had time for."

Swart, who plans to major in marketing, was named the 2024 Barton Scholar after competing against numerous other high school seniors in a series of speeches, group exercises and other activities.

“We were so impressed with her communication skills and driven personality,” said Dr. Larisa Genin, dean of the Barton School. “I’m glad we were able to make a special moment even more special with our visit to Maize High. The Barton Scholars are some of our top students and alumni that come through our program, and I can’t wait to see what Faith accomplishes in her time with us and beyond.”

The scholarship was founded in 1991 by the late Rent-A-Center co-founder, W. Frank Barton, established the scholarship in his son’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.

Along with being an exemplary student, Swart is president of the National Honor Society, a member of Student Council and Student Ambassador organizations and participates in track and cross country at Maize High School. She will begin taking classes at WSU in fall 2024.

“I just felt connected to the staff, and I felt like I belonged,” Swart said. “I really like WSU, it just feels like home.”

About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 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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