Missouri Western’s Golden Griffon scholarships reward high-achieving students and help them pay a good portion of their college tuition. The renewable scholarship, established by former president Dr. James Scanlon, is for incoming freshmen who meet specific academic requirements and are involved in extracurricular activities.

Two current recipients of the Golden Griffon are Joseph and Annaka Kellogg, from St. Joseph.

Joseph, a junior double major in economics and political science, said he looked at a few colleges, but Missouri Western was the only place he applied.

“This was where I needed to be, it was a nice fit,” he said. “Professors are extremely qualified and you’re set up to succeed.”

Annaka is one of 14 Golden Griffon recipients for the 2017-18 academic year. The freshmen business major enrolled at Missouri Western with 27 college credits, thanks to the University’s dual credit program.

Annaka said she wanted to stay in the state for college, and once she decided on business and saw the Craig School of Business, Missouri Western was an easy choice. She admits she’s interested in the CSB’s unique franchise program where alumni have the opportunity to earn a franchise opportunity.

She also likes the size of Missouri Western, because she says she can get involved in a lot of different organizations, including theatre.

“The small class sizes can’t be overstated,” said Joseph, who is thinking about going to law school after he graduates. “You’re able to build personal relationships with professors.”

One of the requirements of the Golden Griffon scholarship is that recipients must be in the Honors program, and both Annaka and Joseph like being a part of it.

“Honors is great. It gives you a more personal experience, and you’re meeting people like you,” Joseph said. “You build a support system.”

“I like the higher level discussions and broadening my horizons,” Annaka added.

Dr. Teddi Deka, professor of psychology and director of the Honors program and the Golden Griffon Scholarship, said she likes that the scholarship is based on merit only, rather than including a financial need component, so that high-achieving students can be rewarded for their academic success. She noted that an applicant’s leadership experience and involvement as a high school student is also important.

“We want them to be involved on our campus and be leaders,” she said. For a recipient’s first two years, she likes to see them joining clubs and organizations, and by their junior year, she wants them taking on leadership positions in those groups.

Joseph is right in line with Dr. Deka’s expectations. He joined Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and has participated in theatre. In 2016, he was appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon as student governor on Missouri Western’s Board of Governors.

Annaka is currently involved in the Student Government Association and Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority.

When the scholarship originated, recipients were required to live on campus, but that changed

Students in the Honors Program gather for a group photo.

for incoming freshmen recipients in the 2015-16 academic year.

“We tried to make it so that the scholarship would be valuable to both those who wanted to live on campus and for those who did not,” Dr. Deka said.

Recipients now have two options: They can accept $5,000 per year and live off campus, or live on campus and receive $5,000 plus the cost of a room on the Academic Achievement floor of Vaselakos Hall.

Since it changed, the scholarship has attracted not only more applicants, but more high-achieving applicants, Dr. Deka said.

Golden Griffon Criteria

  • 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale OR top 10% of high school class
  • Composite ACT score of 27
  • Seven-semester high school transcript
  • Evidence of involvement in extracurricular activities and community service
  • Submit an essay according to prompt