A new scholarship in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling named after Dr. Jimmy N. Merchant will be offered to graduate students beginning next spring.Past students of Merchant, well-known figures from SHSU, Huntsville, and Texas are collecting money for the scholarship in the form of donations.Each year, one student will receive the Dr. Jimmy N. Merchant Graduate Scholar Award. The scholarship will begin in 2004 to allow the department of Educational Leadership and time raise the money for the annual award. Merchant has the opportunity to choose the requirements for the scholarship since it is in his name. So far the only requirement is a deserving student of the graduate program in the department of educational leadership and counseling. However, because the award is so new, the requirements have not been finalized.SHSU awards scholarships ranging from a few hundred dollars to $4,000. The scholarships are awarded in the spring for the following year, and qualified students should apply no later than March 1. Applications for this particular scholarship can be attained through the department of education or online. Merchant is a professor in the department of educational leadership and counseling and is retiring in the spring after 34 years at SHSU. “We thought it was a great way to honor him when he retired,” said Sherry Hirsch, doctoral secretary for the department educational and leadership. “He has taught here for 34 years and everybody just loves him.”Merchant currently teaches appraisal and development of educational personnel, doctoral studies in educational leadership, conflict management for contemporary education and education policy and ethics. Merchant served as acting dean for the department of educational leadership and counseling, but recently stepped down due to illness. “He was the director of the doctoral program for a long time,” Hirsch said. “He (also) started a lot of doctoral programs.”Merchant has also consistently been active with many educational organizations and associations. He has attended conferences and served on the board of such organizations as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, the Performance Assessment for Leadership Network, the State Board for Educator Certification and the Texas Education Agency.Merchant received his bachelor of arts, master of education and doctorate degrees from East Texas State University, and his associates degree from Texarkana College.