William L. Cullison Scholarship

Believing strongly that today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, the Foundation endowed the William L. Cullison Scholarship fund in honor of TAPPI's fifth Executive Director, an extraordinary industry leader. Attracting talented young people to future careers in the pulp and paper, corrugated container, or polymers, laminations, adhesives, coatings and extrusion industries is the cornerstone to building a highly skilled workforce and a technically advanced industry. This scholarship provides an inviting incentive for students entering their third year of college to pursue an academic path related to this vital work.

These activities are made possible through the generous support of companies and individuals who share our vision for the future. If you would like to support the William L. Cullison Scholarship fund by making a tax-deductible donation, please contact the TAPPI Foundation.

What’s in a name?

A name is a truly powerful thing. Throughout history, the names of great leaders have been invoked to bring about swift and sure results. For instance, in 1798 it seemed certain that France would declare war against the newly emancipated United States. George Washington was an old man living in retirement at Mount Vernon, when he received an urgent letter from President Adams. "We must have your name, if you will permit us to use it," petitioned Adams. "There will be more efficacy in it than in many an army."

It is with similar esteem that the TAPPI Foundation has endowed the William L. Cullison Scholarship in honor of an exceptional industry leader.

Why should I consider a career in the paper industry?

Stop for a moment and think about all the ways paper and paper products impact your daily life. From basic communication to complex food packaging and preservation, paper is an essential component of modern civilization. Further, since the plant and tree fibers used in making paper are renewable resources, the paper industry is one of the most sustainable industries on earth.

Am I eligible?

Potential candidates must meet ALL of the following criteria for eligibility:

  • Candidates are undergraduate students with a major in a pulp and paper science course of study at a college or university. Many of these colleges and universities sponsor a TAPPI Student Chapter.
  • Candidates must have completed at least one full undergraduate academic year of studies. Most candidates apply during the second semester of their second full academic year.
  • Maintain a 3.5 grade point average or better (on a 4.0 scale) through the first two years in a four or five year program.
  • Demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities.
  • Demonstrate significant interest in the pulp and paper industry which could include listing previous, current or future industry internships.
  • Financial need is not a requirement for eligibility.

How do I apply?

To apply for the William L. Cullison Scholarship, you must send the following items to the TAPPI Awards Department no later than February 15 (for the scholarship to be awarded for the school year beginning the following September).  

  1. Completed W. L. Cullison Scholarship form  
  2. Official transcript of grades
  3. List of all scholarships and dollar amounts already received
  4. At least three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your character, accomplishments, likelihood of success, and/or industry work experience (at least one recommendation letter must be written by an educator)

All candidates will be notified of their application status by July 1. Scholarship funds are currently awarded in increments up to $4,000 per academic year for the last two years of a student's undergraduate program. For Juniors who are awarded the scholarship for both junior and senior year, the scholarship must be renewed for the second year by submitting an official transcript indicating that the recipient is pursuing courses in the pulp and paper curriculum and has maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale).

An additional benefit for Cullison scholarship winners is one year free full TAPPI membership as soon as the winner is employed in the industry. All student members of TAPPI receive a year of membership at the student rate once the student has become employed in the industries served by TAPPI after graduation.