Sending Caddies to College Since 1930
All proceeds from the BMW Championship support the Evans
Scholars Foundation, which administers one of the nation's
largest privately funded college scholarship program, providing
full tuition and housing grants to deserving caddies.
Since the first two Scholars enrolled at Northwestern University
in 1930, more than 9,600 young men and women have graduated from
the program. This year, 835 Scholars are enrolled. Their tuition
and housing grants are renewable for up to four years, representing
an average value of $70,000. The Foundation owns and maintains
Evans Scholars Chapter Houses at 14 universities, and Scholars are
also enrolled in six other schools. While the program is national
in scope, its focus is principally in the Midwest.
Western Golf Association
The Western Golf Association, founded in 1899 to
conduct tournaments and promote the general interests of golf, has
sponsored the Evans Scholars program since its inception. There are
approximately 500 WGA Directors nationawide. They receive no
compensation or reimbursement for expenses incurred in WGA-related
The Evans Scholars Foundation is a favorite charity of golf.
Established in 1950, the Par Club has been the primary funding
source, with more than 45,000 golfers donating $250 or more last
year. They were solicited by WGA Directors and Par Club volunteers
at golf and country clubs nationwide. The WGA also conducts a Bag
Tag program. Modest bag tag fees are assessed through the WGA's 400
member clubs. Last year the combined operating budget of both
organizations was $16 million. The Foundation is a charitable and
educational 501(c)(3) organization under the IRS code.
WGA tournaments -- the BMW Championship, the Western Amateur and
the Western Junior -- each rank among the oldest and most
prestigious in their respective class. All BMW Championship
proceeds support the Evans Scholars Foundation. Also in 2013, the
Hotel Fitness Championship, a
Web.com Tour Finals event, is being conducted by the WGA.
Charles "Chick" Evans, Jr.
The Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship program was established by
and named for Charles "Chick" Evans, Jr., who won 54 tournaments,
including the Western Open and eight Western Amateurs, over a
competitive career that spanned four decades. He received worldwide
fame in 1916 when he won both the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open.
When he decided to retain his amateur status, he used his golf
earnings to establish the Charles Evans Jr. Trust in 1928 to assist
golf caddies. The Western Golf Association became the program's
sponsor in 1930. A subsequent trust agreement, signed in 1935,
stipulated that net income and principal shall be used to provide
scholarships and other educational opportunities for caddies at
institutions designated by the Scholarship Committee of the Western
The program grew dramatically following World War II. In
1950, there were only 84 Scholars enrolled. By the end of the
decade, the number of Scholars in school increased to 440, and
Evans Scholars Chapters had been established at Illinois (1951),
Michigan (1952), Wisconsin (1953), Marquette and Michigan State
(1955), and Minnesota (1958). By 1970, 823 students were receiving
awards and Chapters had been added at Ohio State (1962), Colorado
and Purdue (1967), Missouri (1968) and Indiana (1969). Chapters
were subsequently established at Miami of Ohio (1974) and Northern
Illinois University (1987). For the last two decades, the number of
grants in force in any given year has averaged about 825. There are
approximately 140 women Scholars. As the program grew, more than a
dozen other regional and state golf associations have become
co-sponsors and affiliates.
Selection Criteria and Process
There are four primary criteria for scholarship grants. (1)
Candidates, who are nominated by their golf clubs, must have a
documented caddie record with a minimum of two years of outstanding
service. (2) Candidates must have an excellent high school academic
record, Applicants must also provide SAT or ACT college test scores
to further determine academic potential. (3) Candidates must
demonstrate significant financial need. Over the years, the Evans
Scholars Foundation has assisted thousands of young people from
families with very modest financial means. (4) Finally, letters of
recommendation from club and high school officials attest to the
applicant's good moral character. Candidates are personally
interviewed at one of a series of Selection Meetings, co-hosted by
the Western Golf Association and its affiliates.
Outstanding Retention and Graduation Rate
The demanding criteria and careful selection process
contribute to the excellent academic progress and graduation rate
of Evans Scholars. Nearly two-thirds of the Scholars maintain a B
average or better, and the graduation rate is nearly 90 percent,
compared to a 50-percent national average.
Scholarship House Living
At 14 universities, Evans Scholars live and work
together in a Foundation owned Scholarship House. Through this
cooperative living environment, Evans Scholars acquire poise and
develop leadership capabilities and communications skills. The
majority of the Scholarship Houses are co-educational. The sense of
community that is fostered through Chapter living enables each of
the 14 Houses to rank at or near the top in both academic and
extracurricular activities in competition with other campus
organizations. Scholars pay an annual housing fee, and all Scholars
participate in maintenance of their Scholarship House.
Evans Scholars Alumni
More than 9.600 Evans Scholars graduates have
pursued successful careers in business, government, health and
education. These men and women now are contributing to building a
better society in ways they could not have dreamed possible before
earning their Evans Scholarships.
Evans Scholars Alumni accept a growing responsibility for
program funding. They raised over $4 million last year and have
raised more than $54 million cumulatively. Some 70 percent of the
alumni participate through the annual fund or special tournaments
and fund raising events.
To help ensure the future of the program and to
provide a measure of protection against unforeseen financial
emergencies, an endowment fund was established in 1989. It is named
in memory of Roland F. "Mac" McGuigan, who served as the
Foundation's Educational Director for more than four decades.
For more information on the WGA Par Club, visit the WGA/ESF Web
1 Briar Road
Golf, IL 60029