News From Trinity University
  News and Information


An Artful Way to Pay for College
Baker Duncan Scholarships attract talented art students to Trinity University

By Russell Guerrero ’83

Trinity Students practice for one of many plays performed on campus each year.

Drama and theater were a big part of Kristen Lovell’s life in high school.  So when it came time to choose a college, Kristen, from Carrollton, Texas, wanted to go to a school where she could continue studying drama and hopefully, receive a scholarship to help pay for tuition.  She chose Trinity University.

After she was accepted, Kristen, armed with an impressive résumé, applied for a Baker Duncan Fine Arts scholarship.  As part of the process, she performed a monologue in front of the speech and drama faculty. 

Her work paid off.

Kristen received a Baker Duncan scholarship, which will provide funds for her four years at the University.

 Named for a long-time Trinity trustee and supported by the Brown Foundation, the Baker Duncan Scholarship is a competitive merit scholarship offered to high school students who have been accepted to Trinity and who have shown exceptional talent in studio art, music, drama, theater design, or debate. The scholarships are awarded in the departments of art and art history, music, and speech and drama.

Students who are awarded a Baker Duncan scholarship can receive from $2,000 to $10,000 annually for up to four years. The scholarship is awarded in addition other scholarships the high achieving students may receive when they come to Trinity.

Art students working in one of the art studios in
the Jim and Janet Dicke Art Building.

“The Baker Duncan scholarship has done a great job of attracting students,” said Mark Garrison, professor and chair of the art and art history department.  He added the scholarship program, along with the new studios in the Dicke Art Building, has helped in bringing high quality students interested in pursuing studio art. 

According to Jon Lee, assistant professor of art and art history, while students should have a solid foundation in art, the department is not just looking for perfectly done pictures from applicants. “I’m looking for someone who can explore more and is willing to grow as an artist.”

Carl Leafstedt, associate professor and chair of the music department, said the Baker Duncan scholarship encourages top music students to come to Trinity.  Students do not have to major in music, but they must commit to becoming part of one of the ensembles on campus. “Ultimately about half of the students end up becoming music majors because they are so passionate about music.  Sometimes they are our strongest performers,” said Professor Leafstedt.  

The the Campbell and Eloise Smith Music Building provides practice space for students to develop their talent.

“The Baker Duncan scholarship gives us a competitive edge,” said Brooks Hill, professor and chair of the speech and drama department. “It offers something substantial to top-notch students.” His department offers scholarships to students interested in acting as well as those who want to study the technical aspects of theater, such as set design or sound design. 

The speech and drama department also offers scholarships to students who excel in debate. “We are already competing for the best students in Texas. The Baker Duncan scholarship allows us to find students from other parts of the nation,” said Jarrod Atchison, associate professor of speech and drama and director of Trinity’s debate program. 

Professor Hill said he believes that the scholarships been successful in maintaining a high degree of quality in all of Trinity’s arts programs.  “The Baker Duncan scholars have to show that they are bringing something to the programs – and they do!”

For general information on the Baker Duncan scholarships, go to Trinity’s financial aid Web page regarding merit scholarships:

Students interested in a Baker Duncan scholarship in art and art history can find more information at:

Students interested in a Baker Duncan scholarship for debate can find more information at:

Students interested in a Baker Duncan scholarship in drama, in either performance or in technical theater and design, can find information at:

Students interested in a Baker Duncan scholarship in music can request more information at:


© 2009 Trinity University

E-mail the Public Relations Office