RHS students receive first Tim Cook scholarships


ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Seven recent graduates from Robertsdale High School have received the first scholarships donated by Apple CEO and RHS graduate Tim Cook.

The $7,500 scholarships were handed out during the school’s annual awards ceremony held Thursday, May 13 and included:

  • Maggie Davis, plans to attend the University of West Florida, majoring in biology.
  • Emily Kalifa, Auburn University, industrial and systems engineering.
  • Emma Bartholomew, Anderson University (South Carolina), bio-chemistry.
  • Emily Crandall, University of Southern Mississippi, psychology.
  • Aidan Johnston, University of Alabama Huntsville, aerospace engineering.
  • Zoe Meadors, University of Miami, biology.
  • Delia Strack, University of Southern Mississippi, health sciences.

“All of the recipients are really strong candidates and will be successful in whatever they do in the future,” said RHS Principal Joe Sharp, “and I am excited that they have gotten this opportunity.”

Sharp said Cook reached out to him in February, wanting to contribute six to seven scholarships per year over the next 10 years while laying out the criteria for the scholarships, which include “grit, creativity, curiosity, academics and leadership.”

“Students went through an application process,” Sharp said, “and Mr. Cook asked that we form a scholarship committee to award the scholarships which includes myself as principal, the school’s senior counselor, the Teacher of the Year (which this year fell to the previous year’s winner following the death of this year’s winner William Peck), and one additional faculty member.”

Cook was born in Mobile and grew up in Robertsdale, where he was a 1978 graduate of Robertsdale High School. He received a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University in 1982 and a master of business administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 1988.

He was hired by Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs in 1998 and has served as the company’s CEO since 2011.

“This is pretty remarkable,” Sharp said, “and is certainly going to be life-changing for these students and those who will be receiving these scholarships in the future.”

During the school’s graduation ceremony held Tuesday, May 18 at J.D. Sellars Stadium, Sharp said the Class of 2021 received a total of $15 million in scholarships.