In Fall 2018, St. James’ Episcopal Church in Austin and Seminary of the Southwest began a collaboration to create the Texas Pauli Murray Scholarship. The purpose of this collaboration, which now has expanded to include other parishes, is to expand opportunities for low-income African American students and other students of color to attend the Seminary in preparation for priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. The scholarship provides financial support for living expenses for these seminary students, in addition to a full tuition grant and other assistance provided directly by the Seminary.
The scholarship is named for the Rev. Pauli Murray (1910-1985), a woman of truly remarkable energy, vision, and accomplishment. She was a pioneer and groundbreaker in many different fields of endeavor, and her life included many “firsts” – including the first African American woman ordained to the Episcopal clergy, a co-founder of the National Organization for Women, and the original author of legal arguments later used to desegregate public schools in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision. The Episcopal Church celebrates her feast day on July 1.
The goals of the Texas Pauli Murray Scholarship are to provide up to $25,000 in living expenses per year for a student in each of the three years of seminary study and to develop an endowment so that the scholarship program can be self-sustaining. The 2019 inaugural Gala was an important step in funding the scholarship and will, we hope, be a source of inspiration to help the scholarship grow to achieve these important goals.
We welcome – and thank – donors, who would like to support the scholarship by using the form below: