Townsend scholarships are awarded to two candidates who will be spring graduates of McCook or Southwest high schools in Red Willow County, Nebraska, and will attend University of Nebraska colleges in Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney or Curtis.
A local scholarship selection committee will review and evaluate applications, and will provide a list of finalists to the University of Nebraska Foundation, which administers the scholarship program in honor of the late Col. Townsend, who died Jan. 26, 2010, at his home in Maryland.
Scholarship applicants will be evaluated on the basis of merit (scholarship, leadership qualities and community involvement) and need (such as, among other considerations, size and financial status of family, parents' occupations, siblings in school/college).
Scholarship applications are available at McCook and Southwest high schools and at McCook National Bank.
Completed applications must be returned by 4 p.m., Friday, March 1.
A Townsend scholarship is valued at $3,500 a year, for tuition, books and fees. The scholarship also provides each recipient with funds to purchase a personal computer that he/she can keep following graduation.
The scholarship is awarded on an annual basis, and is renewable annually upon application and satisfactory academic performance. Freshmen are expected to maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average; sophomores, juniors and seniors must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.
Each recipient is required to maintain a status as "a student in good standing" at the university campus where he/she is enrolled.
Townsend was born in Norcatur, Kansas, on April 6, 1921, and grew up on a farm in Red Willow County, Nebraska, near Danbury, where he attended elementary school and part of high school. He graduated from Decatur Community High School in Oberlin (in Decatur County) in 1938, during America's Great Depression, and knew first-hand the challenges of paying for college. After working to raise money for college, he attended Kansas State College and graduated in 1942. He served his country in the U.S. Army for 31 years, retiring in 1973.
In 1998, the Colonel worked with the University of Nebraska Foundation to create his scholarship program, the fulfillment of his dream to help young people reach their education goals.
The Colonel created a similar scholarship program for graduates of Decatur Community High School in Oberlin to attend Kansas State University.
The Colonel believed that a good education -- combined with getting up early, possessing integrity and honesty, and working hard -- was the foundation for success throughout life.
The Colonel said he was proud of the many awards he received during his military and private sector careers, but wrote in 1998, "I believe my major accomplishment to have been the establishment of the Col. Delbert L. Township Scholarship Programs at the University of Nebraska Foundation and the Kansas State University Foundation."