METAIRIE, La. – Six students, children of Gulf States PGA Professionals, have been awarded a PGA Financial Assistance Fund Scholarship from the PGA of America in recognition of their exemplary academic and extracurricular efforts.
Receiving a John Cox Scholarship in the amount of $5,000 is Patricia Claire Sanford who will begin her junior year at The University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. this fall. Sanford, the daughter of PGA Head Professional Jeff Sanford of The Dogwoods Golf Course, has selected a major in communication sciences and disorders with a minor in education. She is very active on campus as the event coordinator for the Ole Miss Hand Band sign language club, music chairman for Delta Delta Delta and a campus tour guide.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to be a PGA Scholarship recipient,” said Sanford. “It is such a blessing to be able to receive a scholarship that will help me continue to excel in my academic goals. I am even more driven to continue reaching for excellent grades and participating and leading extracurricular organizations.”
Sanford was honored as salutatorian of Grenada High School in Grenada, Miss. and was also involved in many activities including show choir and color guard in which she served as captain of both. She will be lending her skills to her alma mater this summer as a choreographer for the school’s show choirs and will also work as a color guard instructor for the Mississippi Lion’s All State Band, of which she is a former member.
The following five students have been awarded a $2,000 scholarship to help alleviate the costs of a college education.
Justin Caldwell, son of PGA Professionals Andre and Bill Caldwell of Carter Plantation, will enter his freshman year as a Rajin’ Cajun at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette majoring in business.
“The funds provided by the PGA Scholarship will greatly help my family financially,” said Caldwell. “Next school year my brother will be a senior at LSU and with two kids in college at the same time every bit of financial assistance is very helpful!”
Caldwell recently graduated from Ponchatoula High School in Ponchatoula, where he lettered in varsity golf and received All-District and All-Regional honors as well being named to the All-Academic Class Team for the state of Louisiana during his senior year. He is now a member of Louisiana’s Rajin’ Cajun men’s golf team and will serve as team representative on the Athletic Advisory Council which focuses on the betterment of the university and student athletes.
Ann Claire Crain is a sophomore kinesiology major at La Tech in Ruston. She is the daughter of Greg Crain, PGA, longtime head professional at Ellendale Country Club.
“I am delighted to be a recipient of the PGA Scholarship.” said Crain. “I promise to work hard to uphold the integrity of this scholarship.”
Crain earned a 4.0 during her freshman year and has set a goal of one day fabricating prosthetics. She keeps a busy schedule as the baking chairperson of her sorority, honor society service chairperson, intramural soccer goalie, working and traveling with the football team as well as working part time at a local bakery. For the second summer in a row, Crain will spend two weeks in Haiti working in a mission in Jeremie.
Olivia Loisel of New Orleans will begin her freshman year at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Loisel is the daughter of Southeastern Louisiana University Golf Coach Jake Narro, PGA.
“I feel very grateful and excited to receive the PGA Scholarship,” said Loisel, a recent graduate of Mount Carmel Academy.
Loisel will major in pre-nursing and plans to participate in intramurals in college. Before studies commence, Loisel said she will be spending her summer at the beach and traveling to El Salvador.
Hannah Noel, daughter of Robert Noel, PGA Director of Instruction at Rob Noel Golf Academy, will be entering her sophomore year at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she studies speech pathology.
“I am very thankful and excited to receive this award as it will help me accomplish my goal of becoming a speech pathologist,” said Noel, who will be spending the summer working at a speech and language center. “It feels extremely rewarding knowing all of my hard work has paid off. It is also encouraging me to keep working harder to reach my goal.”
Noel, a graduate of St. Scholastica Academy in Covington, currently holds an officer position in the sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi.
Peyton Rutherford, from Vicksburg, Miss., is preparing for her senior year at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg where she majors in accounting.
“I am very excited,” said Rutherford regarding receiving the scholarship. “It’s awesome to have been selected by the PGA.”
Rutherford, the daughter of Chris Rutherford, PGA, is quite involved with student life at Southern Miss and said that she particularly enjoys being a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society due to the opportunities it presents on and off campus. She plans to become a certified public accountant and has set her sights on owning her own business in the future.
About the Gulf States PGA Section
The Gulf States Section, Professional Golfers’ Association of America, is an association of golf professionals whose mission is to promote interest, participation, and enjoyment in the game of golf; establish and maintain professional standards of practice; and enhance the well being of golf professionals.