E.A. RAMSEY COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Who was E.A. Ramsay?
In so many respects, Al Ramsey is the rock upon which USSSA sits.
Although he is not recognized as one of the founding members, he joined USSSA as the Virginia State Director in 1969 when the Association was less than a year old. Within one year, he became a Regional Vice-President.
In 1971 the Executive Board of USSSA, faced with mounting debt and a struggling Association, met in Al’s hometown of Petersburg, VA. In that crucial meeting, the Association named Al Ramsey as National President and appointed Al’s long-time friend, Jerry Ellis, as National Secretary and Treasurer.
Al put the Executive Directors in a room for two days and effectively placed the Association under a new Constitution and set of new business rules which both saved and transformed USSSA into a national softball powerhouse.
Over the course of the next 27 years and until his death in 1998, the growth and evolution of USSSA was nothing short of amazing. Al Ramsey directed the creation of Committees to oversee Men’s, Women’s, Youth, Mixed Couples, and a variety of additional specialty softball programs. USSSA fought off multiple lawsuits by ASA. The USSSA National Headquarters and Hall of Fame was created in Petersburg and paid off in just three years. World Series play for a variety of programs were instituted. USSSA took softball to Russia. The list goes on and on.
And, in 1997, in one of the most dramatic strategies ever undertaken by an existing sports association, USSSA changed its name to match a new scope…that of a multi-sport association. Al Ramsey was the visionary who saw the need to grow the association in ways it never could have imagined when it was first founded just to take care of slo-pitch softball. Suddenly, USSSA stood for United States Specialty Sports Association, and sports like fast pitch, baseball, and basketball were suddenly under the same association.
Al Ramsey was also the creator of a youth scholarship program which is now named in his honor. Ramsey once said, “We must always strive for a program that gives something back to our team members.”
Surely the USSSA College Scholarship Program “gives something back” and is a fitting tribute to one of the Association’s greatest members.
Who is eligible?
The USSSA E.A. Ramsey College Scholarship award is reserved for high school students (and USSSA athletes or youth sports officials!) who during the year of application are in their senior year of high school and already accepted into the college of their choice*. USSSA is currently awarding scholarships in Slow Pitch softball, fast pitch softball, baseball, and basketball. Other sports may be added as participation in those sports increases and interest is shown.
*Exceptions may be made for applicants who are in accelerated programs, but this must be made clear in the application process and proof of admission is still required with the application.
Criteria for selection
The USSSA E.A. Ramsey College Scholarship Program uses multiple criteria in the selection process. Among these are: academic success, athletic success/participation, extracurricular activity demonstration (citizenship), and USSSA involvement above-and-beyond the norm (officiating or helping to run leagues, tournaments, or fund raisers).
Academic success includes overall high school graduating GPA and test results from SAT, ACT, or other pre-college testing., if taken.
Athletic success/participation is heavily slanted toward “USSSA” participation but not restricted to that. Submitter should provide evidence of involvement in high school sports and other associations, as well. Examples are AAU basketball…even if the submitter is submitting for a USSSA fast pitch scholarship.
And, submitters who have experience officiating USSSA sports or helped administer leagues or tournaments are especially rewarded. For helping contribute to USSSA success, we are interested in contributing to yours!
Citizenship is all about involvement in activities of all sorts, not just those restricted to school activities. This might include church activities, social clubs, political involvement, community involvement, etc. We are looking for and proud to recognize outstanding achievement in diverse fields.
How much is a USSSA Scholarship worth?
USSSA budgets for the scholarship in its general budget each year. The amount provided for college scholarships, however, may not be a fixed amount each year. To date, no scholarship amount has been less than $500…to be spent as the recipient desires. However, future candidates may be award more, depending upon the number of overall submittals or based upon what the Committee feels might be “special merit.” Recipients will receive a lump sum payment from our National HQ and are then free to spend the award on anything from actual tuition, room & board, books, or other expenses.
Who to submit my application to?
USSSA E.A Ramsey College Scholarship submittals, once they are endorsed by your sports’ State Director, National Program Coordinator, or Executive Board Member, should be sent to:
USSSA College Scholarship Program
5800 Stadium Parkway
Melbourne FL 32940
In order to allow for efficient follow-up, if needed, it is absolutely critical that all contact information be complete, accurate, and legible.
When are submittals due?
Submittals for the USSSA E.A. Ramsey College Scholarships are due to National Headquarters in Kissimmee, FL no later than 15 August of each season. Remember, however, submittals must be endorsed by a USSSA State Director, Program Coordinator, or Executive Board members as a part of the submittal process.
Announcements are typically made at our USSSA National Convention, which is held in November each year. College Scholarship winners who are “local” to our National Convention site each year are welcome to attend to receive their awards in person.