Scholarship for rodeo students established in memory of Tom Parker
A scholarship in the memory of Tom Parker has recently been established by his family. The scholarship, worth $1,000, will be given for the 2020-2021 school year.
According to Ann Dalton, associate director of development for the Casper College Foundation, those who apply for the scholarship must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours, have a high school GPA of 2.5, been a member of the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association, and a part of the Casper College Rodeo program.
“A dedicated teacher for 37 years, it’s obvious that education was important to Tom,” said Tom’s wife Linda Parker, adding, “Once he was able to add rodeo to the mix, it was a dream come true.” Linda recalled that working with his students, both in and out of the arena, was one of his passions. As a member of the WHSRA board, Parker took the opportunity to help guide young people.
“Tom firmly believed that college was not for everyone, but that everyone should be afforded the opportunity to try. He was never concerned with who was the smartest or the best in the arena, but your effort mattered to him. This scholarship, in his memory, will give someone the chance to give it their best try,” Linda said.
Parker retired from teaching agriculture at the college full time in May 2013 but continued as the head rodeo coach. For many Casper College Rodeo team members, past and present, Parker was their concerned and caring father figure. He loved the kids and always looked out for his team.
During his first 15 years at Casper College, the women’s rodeo team qualified for three College National Finals Rodeo appearances. The men’s team took the regional rodeo title in both 2011 and 2012 and finished either first or second in five of the last six rodeo seasons in the region before Parker’s death from liver cancer in 2017.
As a testament to what he did for college rodeo, Parker was posthumously named 2016-2017 Central Rocky Mountain Region Coach of the Year and 2016-2017 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Coach of the Year at the College National Finals Rodeo.
For more information about the Tom Parker Rodeo Scholarship, contact Dalton at 307-268-2325.
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