SWARS-scholarships-header

Supporting the education of the next generation of rail shippers.

Scholarships

George J. Elking Jr. Scholarship Fund

Each year, the Southwest Association of Rail Shippers (SWARS) provides scholarships to qualified applicants. Scholarships are administered at the sole discretion of SWARS and awards are conferred on a competitive basis. Funding is made available only for the scholastic year beginning in the fall semester following notification of a scholarship award.

Who is George J. Elking, Jr?

George J. Elking, Jr., whom the SWARS Elking Scholarship is named after, started his railroad career with the Missouri Kansas Texas (Katy) Railroad in September, 1961 as a rate clerk in St. Louis, Missouri and worked his way up to Assistant Vice President of Sales (1974-1988) in their Dallas office. When the Union Pacific acquired the Katy, George moved to Slay Industries as their Vice President of Marketing & Sales headquartered in Plano, Texas.

George assisted SWARS in achieving attendance records in the 1980’s, then when SWARS fell on rough times in the 1990’s, he & Mike Taber (Chevron Phillips) resurrected the Association from a low attendance of 45 in 1994, laying the basis for current high attendance figures. George served as president of SWARS in 1995 and NARS (North American Rail Shippers Association) in 1998. George received the NARS Person of the Year Award in 1987, NARS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and SWARS Person of the Year Award twice! Today in retirement George continues to be one of SWARS biggest boosters and encourages young people throughout SWARS territory to apply for scholarships and to seek railroad and/or rail shipper employment.

George attended St. Louis University and completed Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business Development Program.

George J. Elking, Jr. is one of the continuing Saints of the Southwest Association of Rail Shippers!

Application Form
Scholarship Guidelines
Past Scholarship Recipients

If you have any questions regarding the scholarship including requests for exceptions, you may contact the SWARS Scholarship committee chair, Dale Diulus, at (480) 850-5757 or email at ddiulus@srmaterials.com.

Scholarship FAQs

How are recipients selected?

Scholarship recipients will be chosen from qualified students who meet the eligibility requirements and submit a completed application packet before the deadline. Scholarship recipients will be selected according to merit on a competitive basis and with regard to financial need. The scholarship committee will choose the recipients by evaluating each eligible student’s self-description, academic performance, community involvement, employment history and financial status. Additional consideration will be given to those pursuing a degree program in a transportation related industry. Selected recipients will be featured on promotional materials at SWARS meetings and on our website. All selected recipients will be asked to submit a picture for this purpose.

What do I need to include with my scholarship application?

Application – Must be signed in blue or black ink.

Academic Transcript – Does not need to be certified; a clear copy is acceptable.

ACT or SAT Test Results – A copy is acceptable. (ACT or SAT test results are optional if the applicant is at least 21 years of age or has completed at least 45 hours of college credit.)

List of Extracurricular Activities – Applicants should detail on a separate sheet their community involvement and extracurricular activities including awards and achievements (limited to one (1) page).

Work History – Applicants are required to submit their employment history. The ideal format is a list in table form indicating job start and stop dates, position title and company name. Resumes will be accepted for this section, but should not include any of the applicant’s personally identifiable information such as name or address.

Personal Statement – Personal statements should be typed with a maximum length of 2 pages (double-spaced). Applicants are encouraged to be creative, but should detail career goals, particularly those relating to transportation, as well as any special circumstances that desire consideration. The awards committee reviews all statements anonymously, so please do not include any identifying information such as name or address.

Academic Letter of Recommendation – The academic letter of recommendation should be from a school counselor, teacher, or professor. The letter should be typed and either sealed in an envelope if physically submitted, or sent electronically if the rest of the application is likewise submitted electronically. The applicant’s name should ONLY appear on the envelope and not in the body of the letter – or in the subject line and not in the body if sent electronically. Again, the awards committee reviews all statements anonymously, so please do not include any identifying information such as name or address.

Personal Letter of Recommendation – The personal letter of recommendation may be from any person of the applicant’s choice who has a personal relationship with the applicant. Parents/guardians, grandparents, or other relatives are eligible to provide the personal letter of recommendation. The letter should be typed and either sealed in an envelope if physically submitted, or sent electronically if the rest of the application is likewise submitted electronically. The applicant’s name should ONLY appear on the envelope and not in the body of the letter – or in the subject line and not in the body if sent electronically. Again, the awards committee reviews all statements anonymously, so please do not include any identifying information such as name or address.

PLEASE NOTE – IT IS THE RESPONSIBITY OF EACH APPLICANT TO ENSURE THAT THE SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE RECEIVES ALL REQUIRED APPLICATION MATERIALS. IF PHYSICALLY SUBMITTED, THE BEST WAY IS TO INCLUDE ALL PARTS OF THE APPLICATION IN ONE ENVELOPE. IF ELECTRONICALLY, THERE SHOULD BE ONLY THREE (3) SUBMISSIONS: ONE FROM THE APPLICANT, AND ONE FROM EACH OF THE TWO AUTHORS OF THE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION.

**PLEASE NOTE – ONLY THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE APPLICATION WILL BE CONSIDERED. ADDITIONAL LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION WILL BE DISREGARDED**

What is the amount of the scholarship(s)?

The scholarship stipend is a one-time disbursement typically ranging from $500 to $5,000 (USD) as determined by the scholarship committee. Funds will be disbursed directly to the college or university at which the recipient is enrolled. Scholarship recipients from prior years are eligible to receive multiple awards but must re-apply each year.

What is the George J. Elking Jr. Scholarship Fund?

The Southwest Association of Rail Shippers (SWARS) is one of five regional associations whose purpose is to provide an open forum for railroads, shippers, and other related parties to meet and discuss matters of mutual interest including service, car supply, scheduling, operating practices and technology. SWARS’ region includes the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Southern California (from and including Fresno and points South), Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah, as well as the Republic of Mexico.

The George J. Elking Jr. Scholarship Award is dedicated to helping individuals with financial support throughout the SWARS region achieve their education and career goals. It is SWARS’ hope recipients become active in the logistics and transportation fields, but wants to help deserving individuals studying in all fields of education and business.

Each year, SWARS provides scholarships to qualified applicants. Scholarships are administered at the sole discretion of SWARS and awards are conferred on a competitive basis. Funding is made available only for the scholastic year beginning in the fall semester following notification of a scholarship award.

When is the application due?

Applications must be postmarked by April 30, of each year without exception.

Where do I send my application?

Completed applications should be sent to:
ddiulus@srmaterials.com

or if by mail:

Dale Diulus
Salt River Materials Group
8800 E Chaparral Road; Suite 155
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Letters of Reference must be sent separately by the author – please see checklist with instructions.
 

Who is Eligible?

Undergraduate college students in good standing and college bound high school seniors residing in the SWARS geographical territory. Students from the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Southern California (from and including Fresno and points south thereof), Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and the Republic of Mexico are eligible. All applicants must be citizens of the U.S.A., Mexico, or Canada. Students must be enrolled to attend a college or university in the United States, Mexico, or Canada. The school must be fully accredited by its regional accrediting commission on higher education and the student must be registered in a course of study leading to a traditional baccalaureate degree. Scholarship recipients from prior years are eligible to receive multiple awards but must re-apply each year. A maximum of four (4) awards will be given to any individual.

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