By Theo Evans
During the summer of 2016, The University of the South received a $7.8 million gift from the estate of the late Dr. E.C. Winstead. Dr. Winstead was a part of the class of 1950, a member of Kappa Sigma, and later received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He served in World War II and died at the age of 88 in January 2012. Dr. Winstead donated $7.8 million to Sewanee in hopes that the money would be used to increase Sewanee’s financial aid fund.
In a recent interview, Mrs. Laurie Saxton, Director of Media Relations for The University of the South, said that discussions with Sewanee administration and Vice-Chancellor McCardell have centered on the idea of using the money to improve access to Sewanee. “Access” is defined as helping qualified students attend the University of the South in a financially feasible manner. Last year, Sewanee met the financial need for 94 percent of students, but the remaining 6 percent may be able to access Dr. Winstead’s gift.
Beth Cragar, Director of Financial Aid, said that the gift is expected to yield an average return of about 5 percent, which translates to an additional $390,000 towards Sewanee’s annual available financial aid. Saxton stated that a possible use for this additional $390,000 each year is a new need-based scholarship, and that Winstead scholars could exist alongside Benedict, Quintard, and Wilkins scholars as early as the Class of 2021. A new scholarship dedicated to Dr. Winstead’s memory is only one possibility; the funds could also be directed to already existing scholarship funds or any number of alternatives. When asked about the bottom line, Saxton said, “Right now we are going to use the money towards making the Sewanee Experience available to as many qualified students as possible.”