For several years, WGA leaders have been in talks about sending caddies to the University of Notre Dame near South Bend, Ind. Now for the first time in nearly 50 years, students have earned an Evans Scholarship to the prestigious university.
Since 1949, 14 caddies have earned an Evans Scholarship to the private university, with the most recent graduating in 1961. Since then, applicants have continued to show interest in attending Notre Dame, say WGA leaders.
Talks of renewing the relationship began years ago between Jim Reilly, a WGA Director and Evans Alum, and Scott Malpass, who is vice president and chief investment officer of the university, as well as a WGA Director. And the timing finally was right to move forward with a new partnership.
“We’re a national university. We’re trying to recruit top students with different backgrounds for a very talented, diverse student body,” Malpass says. “So many great kids get involved in caddie programs across the country. Values like integrity, hard work and discipline are what caddies have to exhibit and certainly are the traits we seek in students. We felt we should be a part of this and have a chance to meet kids we might not have otherwise had the opportunity to.”
Both WGA and Notre Dame leaders hope this is just the beginning of caddies being awarded Scholarships to Notre Dame. Future Scholars also will live together in Siegfried Hall. “We hope to continue building their presence on campus,” Malpass says. “The whole idea of living in community is exactly what we do, and exactly what the Evans Scholars Program wants.”
Malpass will serve as the Evans Scholars advisor, providing mentorship to the students and acting as a liaison between the program, the Scholars and the university. “We’re delighted to have entered into this partnership,” he says.