Theatre and Dance Scholarships

All students who apply for admission to a BFA program through the audition/interview process will also be automatically considered for any available Theatre Special Talent Scholarships.

Donor scholarships

    Established in 2005 by Denny and Linda Bettisworth and friends, this scholarship is a renewable scholarship for a junior or returning senior who has demonstrated outstanding promise in theatre directing, as determined by the Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance.

    The Marie Donner and Fred R. Bush Scholarship Fund were established by Fred R. Bush, his family and friends. Professor Bush, former Director of the University Theatre, was a graduate of Central Michigan University and a member of the faculty for 33 years. Mrs. Bush was a faculty member in the Music Department. The earnings of the funds are to provide an annual scholarship for a student studying in Fine Arts.

    The John Genette and Andrea Dickey Genette Award is to recognize an entrepreneurial spirit in a student wishing to produce his/her own project with the intent to pursue theatre as a profession as a career actor, director or teacher. The winner of this renewable scholarship award is selected by the Theatre and Dance area.

    Established in 1989 in memory of Wilbur E. Moore, founder of what is now known as the Summer Remedial Clinics and the university's first vice president for academic affairs, for a junior who is enrolled as a major in one of the four programs: Communication, Communication Disorders, Broadcast and Cinematic Arts and Theatre and Dance.

    The Doris J. Ramsey Endowed Theatre Scholarship was established in 2019 by Doris Ramsey, a costume and make-up designer for University Theatre for over 40 years.

    The scholarship will be awarded to a student majoring in the Department of Theatre and Dance with preference given to a student actively involved in costuming, lighting, or make-up in a CMU production. Recipients of the award will demonstrate financial need and maintain a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0.

    The Gavin J. Smith and Mary C. Mertz-Smith Endowed Scholarship in Technical Theatre is named in honor of Gavin Smith, a CMU theatre alum and his wife, and is awarded to a student in good academic standing with an interest in technical theatre.

    Established in 1978 by Nancy Page Smith, family, and friends in memory of Irvine N. Smith, a member of the faculty for eight years and director of university theatre from 1974 through 1976, for a freshman, sophomore or junior student as an incentive award in acting and/or directing.

    Ruth Stevens ’80 and her husband, Steve Latus, have established the Ruth Anne Stevens and Stephen P. Latus Endowed Internship Program to assist Central Michigan University students interested in a career in a media-related field to participate in a university-sanctioned internship program. Ruth, who spent 38 years working in higher education public relations, credits Central Michigan University with providing her valuable collegiate experiences and preparing her for this profession. Specifically, the internship she completed in CMU’s public relations office directly led to her first job after college in higher education public relations – and several rewarding subsequent positions in the field. Ruth and Steve understand that internships often offer no or little pay. They intend for this gift to provide one-time awards to help students defray expenses associated with internship participation. “Having the CMU internship gave me significant practical experience, and helped me get a great job right out of college,” Ruth said. “We hope this award will pave the way for future students to do the same.”


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    Established in 2005 by William E. Valle and friends. Bill is a retired professor who taught scenery design, lighting design, and technical theatre at CMU for 35 years. Income from the renewable endowment will support an award for a student who participates and has an interest in the study of design or technical theatre, has demonstrated promise in the field of scenery design, lighting design or technical theatre and has a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

    This award was established by Ashleigh V. Laabs, ’07 alumna, to support an undergraduate participating in an internship within the College of the Arts and Media.

    Ashleigh Laabs is founder and chief growth officer of A. Victoria MAE, a fractional marketing company.

    Award qualifications:

    • The recipient must be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior full time.
    • Preference will be given to a student enrolled in the Integrative Public Relations or Media Arts programs.
    • Preference will also be given to those who demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit, as defined by their participation in extracurricular activities associated with entrepreneurialism, marketing, public relations, media, and the arts.

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    For more information about all Theatre and Dance scholarships, please contact the Department of Theatre and Dance.