William Paxton Cary Scholarship

The scholarship application period for this program has closed, so you cannot apply at this time.
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William Paxton Cary Scholarship

For the study of Law, Medicine or Political Science

William Paxton Cary, 1882 — 1943, was a beloved California attorney and judge. He graduated from Cornell University in 1907, then put himself through law school by working as a miner in Montana. W.P. Cary began his law practice in California in 1913. He was appointed as a superior court judge from 1921 — 1927, then served as presiding justice of California's 4th District Court of Appeal in 1930. W.P. Cary was a founding partner of the San Diego law firm Gray, Cary, Ames, and Driscoll, which become one of the largest law firms on the west coast, until its merger in 2005 with DLR LLP and Piper Rudnick. He also served as president of the San Diego County State Bar Association and chairman of the San Diego Red Cross.

Judge Cary was modest and reserved, a man of the highest integrity.

He believed in judicial fairness and always strove to right a wrong. People on all sides of the political spectrum respected his opinion. Labor especially appreciated his balanced views during the Depression. 

Our family's roots are in the South; unfortunately, many past generations of both the Paxton and Cary families participated in the Atlantic Slave Trade. African Americans have suffered tremendously in the aftermath of the enslavement of their ancestors; the multiform effects continue to this day.

The descendants of William Paxton Cary wish to establish this scholarship for African American students in his honor. It is our hope that we can provide African Americans who wish to engage in civic service by studying law, medicine or political science, access to an excellent education. In so doing, we wish to help Judge Cary "right a final wrong," extending the educational privilege our family has enjoyed for many generations to African American students who are dedicated to serving America - just as he did.

 Selection Criteria 

Applicants for the William Paxton Cary Scholarship Program must meet the following criteria: 

  1. Possess a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  2. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Ais (FASFA) form; 
  3. Have a demonstrated, unmet financial need as verified by their college or university;
  4. Be of African American descent.

In addition, applicants must complete the online application and submit the required documentations including,

  1. A letter of recommendation,
  2. A one-page personal statement of educational goals,
  3. A one-page essay on "Subsequent to graduation, how will you serve your community?  Describe how this educational opportunity combined with your best personal attributes will prepare you not only for your career but for a lifetime of community service?"
  4. Most recent academic transcript

For further questions, contact David Ray




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