Recognized for academic, leadership achievement

GLENVIEW, Ill. –  Evans Scholars from the University of Minnesota and University of Michigan were named the Program’s most outstanding graduating seniors during the Western Golf Association’s annual meeting for volunteer leadership on Monday, Aug. 2, at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois.

Amanda Polanski of Minnesota and Noah Zaatar of Michigan were honored as the 2021 Evans Scholars of the Year, the most prestigious title a student can earn within the Evans Scholars Program.

Amanda Polanski is from Minnetrista, Minnesota, and caddied at The Minikahda Club. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in biology and earned a 3.9 GPA. She served as president of the Minnesota Evans Scholars chapter, and as co-chair of the Evans Scholars National Committee. She also received the 2020 Minnesota Golf Association Fritz Corrigan Award for excellence in academics, leadership and community service. Polanski plans to continue her education by pursuing a master’s degree in genetic counseling at the University of Wisconsin.

She says, “Being an Evans Scholar has opened a new world of experiences and opportunities for me, and I know these would not have been possible without the scholarship. I am part of an amazing community, from my fellow scholars to the WGA directors to all the generous donors of the Evans Scholars Foundation. It is an honor to have received this wonderful gift.”

Noah Zaatar is from Farmington Hills, Michigan, and caddied at Knollwood Country Club. He graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and earned a 3.8 GPA. He served as president of the Michigan Evans Scholars chapter, and during his tenure the chapter was awarded the James E. Moore Academic Trophy for the first time since the 1990s. He also received the 2021 Golf Association of Michigan’s James D. Standish Award, which recognizes an outstanding upperclassman at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University based on scholarship and leadership in chapter affairs. Zaatar will return to the University of Michigan this fall to pursue his master’s degree in industrial and operations engineering.

He says, “I am incredibly grateful to the members of my country club, the staff who guided me and the scholarship committee for giving me the chance to be the best student I can be. Without the Evans Scholarship, I would not have been able to attend the university of my dreams or reach my full potential.”

“Our Evans Scholars of the Year demonstrated tremendous leadership at their Scholarship Houses and in their communities, particularly over the past year when they stepped up to help guide their peers through an unprecedented and challenging time in our history,” said WGA President and CEO John Kaczkowski. “We are extremely proud of everything Amanda and Noah have accomplished and look forward to supporting them in their future endeavors.”

The University of Michigan was also recognized for achieving the highest cumulative GPA, a 3.6 for the 2020-2021 school year, across all the Program’s Scholarship chapters. They were awarded the James E. Moore Scholarship Trophy for academic excellence. The trophy has been presented annually since 1962 to honor the Evans Scholarship chapter earning the highest cumulative GPA for the previous school year.

Evans Scholars are caddies who have earned a full, four-year tuition and housing grant based on their strong caddie record, excellent academics, financial need and outstanding character. The Evans Scholars Program has been run by the Western Golf Association since its founding in 1930. Currently, a record 1,045 caddies are enrolled at 19 universities nationwide as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,300 caddies have graduated since the program began.