David Berry, a senior at Wichita’s Trinity Academy, was selected Wednesday as the winner of Wichita State University’s $44,000 Clay Barton Scholarship in Business.
It’s the state’s largest business scholarship, providing $11,000 a year for four years. Berry, 18, was one of 60 candidates and seven finalists.
“The Barton scholars are expected to be the best of the best,” excelling in academics, service and in other areas, said Doug Hensler, dean of the W. Frank Barton School of Business. “Our Barton scholars are really an example for our student body.”
The scholarship was established in 1991 in honor of the son of the late Rent-A-Center chairman emeritus W. Frank Barton, for whom WSU’s business school is named. Clay Barton died of cancer at the age of 20.
“This keeps my brother’s name alive,” Craig Barton said. “This is a legacy that will outlive the entire family.”
“It’s… a huge honor,” Berry said after a ceremony at WSU’s Devlin Hall announcing the winner. As a Barton scholar, he plans to promote business in the community and participate in activities on campus.
“The biggest challenge will be saying no to things,” he said, something he admits he has a difficult time doing.
Berry is a native Wichitan. During elementary school at Central Christian Academy, he began competitive swimming, which he did through his sophomore year in high school. Since then, he has participated in a variety of activities at Trinity, including performing in musicals, singing in choirs and serving as National Honor Society president.
Berry said he plans to major in finance while at WSU and eventually would like to join the family business, the Berry Companies, a Wichita construction and industrial equipment supplier.
Candidates for the scholarship go through a rigorous set of challenges in competing for the award, Hensler said. To be eligible, high school seniors must have a 3.5 GPA, a 24 on their ACT and agree to major in business.