2nd Mast scholarship planned

Published 10:04 pm Friday, February 13, 2009

When local tennis legend Howard Mast died in October 2006, a group of people took it upon themselves to ensure that his legacy lived on.

Now, the Howard D. Mast Memorial Scholarship Committee and the Suffolk Foundation are preparing to award their second scholarship in Mast’s honor. The first, given last year, helped Nansemond River High School graduate Juan Lascano attend his college of choice.

Mast served Suffolk as the director of Parks and Recreation from 1949 to 1966. He also coached the first tennis team at Virginia Wesleyan College, coached the Nansemond River High School boys’ tennis team, organized and directed the Suffolk Tennis Association and presided over both the Virginia and Mid-Atlantic Tennis Associations.

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He still found time to serve as mentor, teacher and friend to countless Suffolk citizens, who still remember the effect he had on them.

“That was kind of his legacy,” said William Hill, director of the Suffolk Foundation. “He worked with that up until his death.”

“He positively and profoundly affected the lives of countless young people in their development as tennis players, as athletes in other sports, and as good citizens of the community,” says a press release from the Suffolk Foundation.

To form the Howard Mast scholarship, people who knew Mast from all over the country donated money to begin the scholarship fund. Scholarships are funded with the investments’ proceeds.

Each scholarship applicant must be a current resident of the city of Suffolk. An applicant must be a graduating senior at one of Suffolk’s four public or private high schools, or a senior in an accredited home school program conducted in Suffolk, or a former graduate of one of the four high schools or an accredited home school program who is now enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university in the United States.

The scholarship committee will review such criteria as academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, character, a written essay, and financial need to determine a winner. The committee then will make a recommendation to the Suffolk Foundation, which will confirm or deny the recommendation.

Applicants do not have to be tennis players to receive the scholarship; however, if all other things are equal and one applicant is a tennis player, that will be a deciding factor, Hill said.

Students can pick up applications at their high schools, by downloading from www.suffolkfoundation.org, by e-mailing bhill@suffolkfoundation.org, or by writing to Suffolk Foundation, C/O William Hill, 1426 Holland Road, Suffolk, VA 23434.

The amount of this year’s award has not yet been determined. For more information, visit the above Web site or call 923-9090. Applications are due April 1.