For more than a decade, if a person wanted to find Southwestern science majors, they simply had to visit Wes Stoops’ home. Southwestern students, past, present, and future, flocked to wherever Ira Wesley Stoops Jr. held court. Wes lived only 34 years, but during his life, he regularly welcomed and entertained friends and students.
“Wes was concerned about how bright, hard-working students in need were treated,” says David Spells (’88), one of the founders of the scholarship in Wes’s name, and one of his closest friends. “It troubled him when students were told to get another job, even though they had a full-time job and were taking a full load in school, or to drop out of school and go to work for a semester because they couldn’t pay their bill.” At one point, to help fellow students meet expenses, Wes and four guys lived in a tiny duplex, with one science major renting out Wes’s walk-in closet as his bedroom.
People were irresistibly drawn to Wes’s warmth, unquenchable thirst for knowledge, ready wit, and outrageous imagination. He brought laughter and joy to others in person and through his writings on electronic bulletin boards.
After his death in a car accident, friends couldn’t bear for him to be forgotten on campus. His friends wanted students to benefit from a fund set up to honor his memory. Less than 24 hours after he died, Christine Cummings-Weis ('89), worked with Southwestern and Wes’s family to establish and promote the scholarship fund.
Scholarship award requirements
The Departments of Math and Physical Science and Computer Science nominate candidates for this scholarship, students who have financial need, are well-rounded, possess a love for learning, and exhibit imagination and innovation that extends into the practical areas of work, problem-solving, and human relations.
2019-2020 -Sheldon Lamey
2018-2019 -James Reynolds
2017-2018 -Adriana Carbajal
2016-2017 - Noely Villa
2015-2016 - Avram Neal
2014-2015 - AnaMaria Govender
2013-2014 - Tendai Hunyenyiwa
2011-2012 - Sarah Nadarajan