Establishing the Clara Bradley Burdette Founders’ Scholarship

by Alpha Phi Foundation in Impact

Developing better opportunities for women

“I was a scholarship student who worked my way through school; taking a second job in order to afford my Alpha Phi membership. With the high cost of college today, the need for need-based scholarship is greater than ever before,” says Diane Spry Straker (Delta Alpha-East Carolina).

In 2016, Diane and Edward Straker established the Clara Bradley Burdette Founders’ Scholarship, named after one of our founding sisters whose primary objective in life was developing better opportunities for women. The scholarship is a need-based award for undergraduate Alpha Phis pursuing degrees in STEM.

“Most STEM-related occupations require higher education. With scholarships, like the Clara Bradley Burdette Founders’ Scholarship, we can encourage our women to take risks and enter fields that have been dominated too long by men,” says Diane. “Today’s challenges are vast and complex—climate change, the need for research into the causes and cure of disease, clean air and water, ending the root causes of poverty—and I believe the solutions to these issues lie in technology development and innovation. So little pure research is being funded today, and yet the advances made in the past, and necessary in the future, are a result of STEM-trained individuals. We need more of these, especially women.”

With the generosity of donors like Diane and Edward Straker, Alpha Phi Foundation’s Scholarship Program can support more women pursuing advanced degrees. “The benefit is not simply to our members, but to our communities and society as a whole,” says Diane. “By investing in scholarship, we let our sisters know we believe in them and their potential to make a marked difference in our world.”

Clara Bradley Burdette Founders’ Scholarship 2019-2020 Recipient
Katie Lawton
Zeta Pi (Case Western Reserve), Biomedical Engineering Major

To receive this scholarship from an organization I admire means so much to me and my family. It means I can continue to have the opportunity to explore my passions for research, service, and sisterhood before attending medical school.

Meet all 2019-2020 Scholarship Recipients

Scholarship Program

Through the generosity of donors, Alpha Phi Foundation awarded over $340,000 in merit and need-based scholarships to graduate and undergraduate Alpha Phis for the 2019-2020 academic year. The 2020-2021 scholarship application will open December 1, 2019. Learn more about the Scholarship Program.


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