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Supporting the education of the next generation of rail shippers…scholarship deadline April 30, 2018


George J. Elking Jr. Scholarship Fund

Each year, the Southwest Association of Rail Shippers (SWARS) provides scholarships to qualified applicants. Scholarships are administered at the sole discretion of SWARS and awards are conferred on a competitive basis. Funding is made available only for the scholastic year beginning in the fall semester following notification of a scholarship award.

Who is George J. Elking, Jr?

George J. Elking, Jr., whom the SWARS Elking Scholarship is named after, started his railroad career with the Missouri Kansas Texas (Katy) Railroad in September, 1961 as a rate clerk in St. Louis, Missouri and worked his way up to Assistant Vice President of Sales (1974-1988) in their Dallas office. When the Union Pacific acquired the Katy, George moved to Slay Industries as their Vice President of Marketing & Sales headquartered in Plano, Texas.

George assisted SWARS in achieving attendance records in the 1980’s, then when SWARS fell on rough times in the 1990’s, he & Mike Taber (Chevron Phillips) resurrected the Association from a low attendance of 45 in 1994, laying the basis for current high attendance figures. George served as president of SWARS in 1995 and NARS (North American Rail Shippers Association) in 1998. George received the NARS Person of the Year Award in 1987, NARS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and SWARS Person of the Year Award twice! Today in retirement George continues to be one of SWARS biggest boosters and encourages young people throughout SWARS territory to apply for scholarships and to seek railroad and/or rail shipper employment.

George attended St. Louis University and completed Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business Development Program.

George J. Elking, Jr. is one of the continuing Saints of the Southwest Association of Rail Shippers!

Application Form
  Scholarship Guidelines
Past Scholarship Recipients

If you have any questions regarding the scholarship including requests for exceptions, you may contact the SWARS Scholarship committee chair, Dale Diulus, at (480) 850-5757 or email at

Scholarship FAQs

How are recipients selected?

Scholarship recipients will be chosen from qualified students who meet the eligibility requirements and submit a completed application packet before the deadline. Scholarship recipients will be selected according to merit on a competitive basis and with regard to financial need. The scholarship committee will choose the recipients by evaluating each eligible student’s self-description, academic performance, community involvement, employment history and financial status. Additional consideration will be given to those pursuing a degree program in a transportation related industry. Selected recipients will be featured on promotional materials at SWARS meetings and on our website. All selected recipients will be asked to submit a picture for this purpose.

What are the application requirements?
  1. A completed application form
  2. Copy of academic transcript
  3. Copy of ACT or SAT test results (ACT or SAT test results are optional if the applicant is at least 21 years of age or has completed at least 45 hours of college credit).
  4. List of extracurricular activities detailing community involvement and awards
  5. Work history
  6. Personal statement
  7. Academic letter of recommendation from a school counselor, teacher or professor in a sealed envelope
  8. Personal letter of recommendation from a person of the applicant’s choice in a sealed envelope

Please Note: It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that the scholarship committee receives all required application materials. The best way to do this is to include ALL parts of the application in one envelope sent to the scholarship chairman.

Additional information can be found in the scholarship guidelines.

What is the amount of the scholarship(s)?

The scholarship stipend is a one-time disbursement typically ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 (USD) as determined by the scholarship committee. Funds will be disbursed directly to the college or university at which the recipient is enrolled. Scholarship recipients from prior years are eligible to receive multiple awards but must re-apply each year. A maximum of four (4) awards will be given to any individual.

When is the application due?

Applications must be postmarked by April 30, of each year without exception.

Where do I send my application?

Completed applications should be sent to:

Dale Diulus
Salt River Materials Group
8800 E Chaparral #155
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Who is Eligible?

Undergraduate college students in good standing and college bound high school seniors residing in the SWARS geographical territory. Students from the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Southern California (from and including Fresno and points south thereof), Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and the Republic of Mexico are eligible. All applicants must be citizens of the U.S.A., Mexico or Canada. Students must be enrolled to attend a college or university in the United States, Mexico or Canada. The school must be fully accredited by its regional accrediting commission on higher education and the student must be registered in a course of study leading to a traditional baccalaureate degree.

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