The scholarship was established by an endowment from Dr. Rose Padgett (SIUC Emeritus Professor) to honor outstanding student members of Sigma Xi. The scholarship was first awarded in 1987.
The scholarship was named in recognition of Dr. Rose Padgett and her sister Essie -- daughters of Polly (Winterburn) and George Charles Padgett of England. Rose was born in Bradford, England, on March 26, 1909. She attended Bradford University and Northern Universities of Leeds at Manchester, where she received her Bachelor's degree. Subsequent to World War II, she immigrated to the United States of America and earned her Master's degree from the University of Tennessee in 1951. She then began working toward a doctorate at Purdue University, where she also taught textile chemistry, economics, and statistics. She earned her PhD degree in 1955 and became Assistant Professor of Textile Research at Purdue. In 1962, Rose Padgett came to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale as an Associate Professor and became Chair of the Department of Clothing and Textiles in 1963 -- where she remained until her retirement in 1974. In 1966, she received a licentiate from the Textile Institute of England. She became full professor at SIUC in 1969. She published numerous articles, was active in the American and Illinois Home Economics Associations, and was a charter member of the Apparel Research Foundation.
Dr. Padgett became a full member of Sigma Xi in 1956. Upon arrival in Carbondale, she became active in the SIUC Sigma Xi Club and witnessed the establishment of the Chapter in 1966. Following her retirement, she continued to attend Sigma Xi lectures and enjoyed coming to the annual banquet to see the presentation of the Padgett Scholarship. But after reaching the age of 90, this became difficult for her to do. Nevertheless, she continued to send a note of congratulations to winners. Rose died in Carbondale on April 12, 2001, at the age of 92. Remaining loyal to Sigma Xi, she left instructions that memorials be made to the Rose and Essie Padgett Scholarship Fund managed by the SIU Foundation.
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