Scholarship Applications

Application for the Wayne Morse Legacy Scholarship is made through the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC). The Legacy Scholarship was created to recognize and help support an Oregon student who seeks access to higher education and has demonstrated or may be inspired by Senator Morse’s legacies of public service, integrity, fierce independence, and commitment to principle. It takes into consideration an applicant’s academics, community service, individual achievements and financial need.

In addition to the submissions requested by OSAC, the Wayne Morse Legacy Scholarship requires applicants to provide a personal essay, not to exceed 500 words, examining ways in which principles espoused by Senator Morse are reflected in the applicant’s past actions and/or plans for the future.

Watch a short video of Senator Morse’s passionate defense of his core belief, his faith in the role of the people in the democratic process and decision making, via the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics website (coming soon). This particular video clip shows Morse questioning the constitutionality of the Vietnam War.

Read excerpts from some of Wayne Morse’s speeches by clicking on this PDF link (4 pages/135k).

Read excerpts from some of Wayne Morse’s memorial tributes by clicking on this PDF link (4 pages/79k).

Read a brief biography of Senator Morse by clicking on this PDF link (22 pages/325k).

Visit our links page to find additional resources about Wayne Morse.


Wayne Morse Legacy Scholarship Recipients

Legacy Scholarship recipients have attended Portland State, Oregon State, the University of Oregon and Lane and Portland Community Colleges. Among them are those who were first in their families to attend college as well as nontraditional and marginalized students who overcame a variety of challenges before entering college. They were active in their communities and on campus, often taking leadership roles, while maintaining outstanding academic records. They have pursued studies in sociology, social work, nursing, education, psychology as well as fisheries and wildlife science.

Each fall, WMHPC honors the Legacy Scholarship recipients and their families along with past recipients at a Board Meeting. We have been inspired by their determination to seek higher education, their leadership and public service skills and their commitment to integrity and principle. They carry forward Wayne Morse’s charge to “open the widest door of education to all who have the… capacity to step over that threshold.”

Eighth Morse Legacy Scholarship Awarded

Jazmin Tinsley, our eighth scholarship awardee, grew up near the Morse farm, and graduated from South Eugene High School. She attended Portland Community College, Lane Community College, and graduated from the University of Oregon, with majors in Family and Human Services and Planning, Public Policy and Management. In fall 2018, she started working on her Masters in Social Work at Portland State University.

While living in Eugene and other places, Jazmin stays involved in her community. On Maui, she worked for the Big Brother/Big Sister Program. In Nicaragua, she created a nonprofit for youth. Now there are 27 youth involved in the organization. She is president of the nonprofit board that funds the organization.

Currently, Jazmin works with adjudicated foster children in juvenile detention centers with goals for reintegration, working as a skill builder to comply with the law. She and her father have started a nonprofit which links youth together to mentor each other. If they do, the nonprofit will help pay for their college education.

Sunshine Navarro – 2017 

Sunshine was raised in rural Junction City with her parents and grandparents. Growing up in poverty and sometimes being homeless influenced her to work hard and succeed. She established the Green Club at Sheldon High School and now attends Lane Community College, majoring in Psychology. Sunshine has worked with Friends of Trees, the environmental group 350, and the Circle of Children outdoor camp in Triangle Lake. She also has trained with Cahoots.

Shianne Walker – 2016 

Raised in Eastern Oregon and a member of the Klamath Tribe, Shianne attended Lane Community College before transferring to University of Oregon where she has been on the Dean’s List and is co-director of the UO Native American Student Union. Shianne juggles responsibilities as a mom, a student, and Native American leader at the UO. She plans to become a social worker, potentially working with the tribe.

Tony Vezina – 2015 

When Tony received his scholarship, he was completing his presidency of the student body at Portland Community College. He was founder of the Recovery 101 Club, and Vice President and Mentorship Director of the 4thDimension Recovery Center. Currently, Tony is Executive Director of the Fourth Dimension and works to organize an Oregon High School Recovery program

Merriam Weatherhead – 2014 

A  Sociology major at University of Oregon, Merriam held leadership roles in student government at Churchill High School and Lane Community College. In 2016, she helped lead the Oregon Students Association voter registration campaign that registered over 45,000 students including an unprecedented 6,500 at LCC. Currently Merriam is a property manager in Portland, working on a real estate license, while volunteering with local animal rescue groups.

Dylan McDowell – 2013 

A Yachats native, Dylan’s civic involvement began on the local Youth Council. He was attending Oregon State University when he received our scholarship. Dylan graduated from OSU in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, and Education, and then worked in Washington, D.C., where he was the program director at the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. In summer 2018 he moved back to Oregon, and is now living in Salem working remotely as the Deputy Director of the NCEL.

Mary Gross – 2012 

A first-year nursing student at Lane Community College, Mary grew up in Pleasant Hill. When her original plan to become a doctor was thwarted by a medical condition, her strong commitment to education caused her to find a different path to a career in health care: earning an associate degree in nursing, completing a BS in Nursing from OHSU, and becoming a Nurse Practitioner.

Julie Mertes – 2011 

Julie, our inaugural scholarship recipient, was a second year graduate student in social work at Portland State University when she was awarded the scholarship. A troubled high school dropout who earned her secondary education diploma nearly a decade later, she graduated magna cum laude from PSU and finished her MSW in 2012. She says her transformation was from attending school and completing her education. Julie has moved on from her work as a LCSW at the Men’s Residential Center in Portland, and is now an addiction counselor for Kaiser.