Hatton W. Sumners Foundation

The purpose of the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation is to encourage the study, teaching and research into the science and art of self-government, to the end that the American People may understand the fundamental principles of democracy and be guided thereby in shaping governmental policies.

Sumners Scholarships. The Foundation has 13 graduate and undergraduate scholarship programs at 11 colleges and universities in Texas and Oklahoma. In all cases, scholarship applications and administration are handled by the individual institutions. The Trustees of the Foundation, however, conduct personal interviews of the finalists on each campus and make the final scholarship decisions. In 2012, the Foundation's Trustees conducted 120 personal interviews on 11 campuses resulting in 49 new Sumners Scholars.

Lecture Series Luncheons. The NCPA's continued relationship with the Sumners Foundation has resulted in many years of excellent programs for the Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Lecture Series in Dallas.  This series provides nationally and internationally renowned speakers and public figures a forum to speak to Dallas audiences about important issues and public policy topics. Attendees include area business and community leaders, media, college students and the general public.  

Meeting with Lecture Series Speakers.  Unlike most other local lecture series, a key aspect of the NCPA/Sumners series is that the students are invited free of charge to attend the luncheon addresses and are given the opportunity to visit (as a group) with the speaker privately and ask questions. 

Weekend Policy Seminars.  In addition, once a year Sumners students get to attend a weekend policy seminar hosted by the NCPA and funded by the Foundation.  The seminar is an opportunity for the students to become informed about today's most important and complex public policy issues from some of the nation's leading experts. Most sessions are constructed in a pro-con or right-left format so as to provide the scholars with both perspectives. 

Endowment for NCPA Internship Program. The endowment fund internships provide students the opportunity to experience the day-to-day activities of a nationally recognized public policy research institution.  Interns gain valuable knowledge and experience which will assist them in any career path they choose.

Other Opportunities. In addition to the programming offered through the NCPA, the Sumners Foundation provides their Scholars other opportunities to enrich their academic experiences. All Scholars are invited to participate in the annual Hatton W. Sumners Student Leadership Conference at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the multiple offerings of the New Politics Forum at the Annette Strauss Institute on Civic Participation, both at the University of Texas. In addition, Sumners Scholars seeking careers as social studies teachers in elementary and secondary schools may participate in a special Hatton W. Sumners Institute on the Founding Documents, the signature teacher training program of the State Bar of Texas.

Sumners Scholarship Institutions include Austin College, Howard Payne University, Huston-Tillotson University, Oklahoma City University School of Law, Schreiner University, SMU’s Dedman School of Law, SMU’s John Tower Center for Political Studies, St. Edwards University, Texas Wesleyan University, the University of Dallas, and the University of North Texas.