Ruth Y. Kirby Awards
Ruth Y. Kirby taught foreign
languages for many years in the Portage and
Kalamazoo public schools before joining the
faculty of Western Michigan University in 1945.
For the 23 years of teaching that followed,
Professor Kirby served as an inspiration to her
classes and colleagues alike. Her mastery of
languages was second only to her unwavering
dedication to her students. Because of her very
generous bequest in 1990, Ruth Kirbys
devotion to WMU students continues, supporting
the study of Spanish on campus and abroad.
Description of Awards
There are two types of awards:
- Ruth Y. Kirby Awards for Travel and Study Abroad.
Six awards of $1000 each will be granted to
undergraduate students of Spanish who participate in
a study abroad program in a Spanish-speaking country.
Awards may be used for summer programs, one-semester
programs or one-year programs.
- Ruth Y. Kirby Scholarship Awards. Six awards
of $1000 each will be granted to undergraduate
students of Spanish for study either on campus or
- The applicant must be currently enrolled in WMU and
have a declared major in Spanish.
- The applicant must have completed at WMU at least one
3000-level course in Spanish prior to the semester of
application and must complete at least two additional
3000-level courses in Spanish at WMU by the end of the
semester of application.
- The applicant must have a minimum 3.00 GPA overall
and a 3.25 GPA in Spanish.
- The applicant for the Ruth Y. Kirby Awards for Travel
and Study Abroad must enroll in a study abroad
program whose credits are transferable to WMU. The
program must be approved by the Spanish faculty
advisor for study abroad. The applicant is encouraged
to select a program which will allow him/her to live
with a family.
- Recipients of a travel/study
stipend need to complete at least one 5000-level
Spanish course at WMU after returning from study
- Demonstrated academic achievement in Spanish.
- Demonstrated overall academic achievement.
- An essay of 300 words detailing the applicants
interests and goals as they relate to the study
and/or use of Spanish.
- An interview with Spanish faculty. Interviews are
limited to finalists only.
- Pick up a scholarship application in 410 Sprau Tower.
- The completed application, including a copy of the Spanish major slip and a current transcript (unofficial copy accepted), should be submitted to the
department office, 410 Sprau Tower, by the deadline.
- Results of the award competition will be announced
during fall semester.
- Funds for study abroad will be made available to the
recipient as soon as possible after final acceptance
into a previously approved study abroad program.
Awards are to be used during the following calendar