Bates establishes George L. Wigton Scholar Fund

The newly endowed George L. Wigton Scholar Fund will honor a student who exemplifies the high standards of the College’s long-time men’s basketball, tennis and squash coach, Director of Athletics Suzanne Coffey announced today.

The Wigton Scholar Fund was given by the retired coach’s former players, other Bates alumni and friends to recognize Wigton’s 30 years at Bates. A native of Oberlin, Ohio, and a graduate of Ohio State University, Wigton was the longest serving coach of men’s basketball and men’s tennis in Bates history. He also helped establish the sport of squash at Bates, serving as the first varsity coach for the men’s and women’s teams in 1986. Wigton retired in 1996 and still resides in Auburn, Maine.

“Over the span of his 30 years at Bates, George’s teams were well coached, practitioners of the ideals of fair play and fine representatives of the college,” said 1972 Bates graduate Dan Doyle, the head of the Institute for International Sport of Providence, R.I., who was one of the prime organizers for the Wigton Scholar Fund. “He consistently imparted the principles of sportsmanship to his student-athletes. George’s competency and civility made him one of the most respected Division III coaches in the United States.”

Each year, a Bates junior will be honored as a Wigton Scholar. The selected student must have a 3.0 grade-point average or better, demonstrate leadership qualities reflecting Wigton’s lifelong commitment to the values of athletics participation, and show a willingness to conduct a research project that links sport and education.

The Wigton Scholar will be awarded a $750 scholarship for his or her senior year and a $500 travel allowance to make a trip during the senior year, or the summer preceding the senior year, to either a domestic or international location to engage in a one- or two-week study project that will culminate in a paper presented to the Department of Athletics. The papers will be collected and published in a monograph.

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