Giving Thanks: Scholarship Helps Theatre Major Pursue Career in Acting, Costume Design and Education

by | Nov 12, 2019 | Faces of Fulbright, In Their Own Words, Scholarships, Student Success

This November, members of our Fulbright College Family are sharing expressions of gratitude, letters of thanks and their appreciation for those who have helped make their educational journey possible. 

Meet Anna Estes, who thanks to the Taryn Claassen Memorial Endowment Scholarship, is one step closer to her dream career in acting and performance, costume design and education.

Taryn Claassen Memorial Endowment Scholarship Recipient Anna Estes

Hometown: Little Rock, AR
Graduation: 2020
Major(s)/Minor(s): Theatre Major
Activities/Interests: Since I am pursuing a degree in theatre it is probably an easy guess that I love to be involved in that. More specifically however, I am interested in the performance aspect of theatre and costume design. I love to sing as well. And I love to perform in musicals and any singing opportunities. I am also very interested in the field of education. This summer I had an internship at a local theatre working in their educational department, and it reignited my love of that area.
Career Aspirations: I plan to move to New York City after graduation to pursue theatre on a larger stage. I am excited to pursue a career in acting and performance. However, I am also interested in following any opportunities that may arise in costume design or stitching work. At some point in the future I would like to attend graduate school focused on some area in theatre. And in the long run, I am also very interested in teaching. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl, and I have found that I still feel that calling.

In her own words:

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Fryar,

Thank you for your support of the Taryn Claassen Memorial Endowment Scholarship. I was recently notified by Todd Shields, the dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, in conjunction with Michael Riha, the head of the Department of Theatre, that I am the 2019-2020 school year recipient of this wonderful scholarship.

I am extremely grateful for the recognition and the support of not only myself, but also the entire theatre department here at the University of Arkansas. I consider it a great honor to represent Taryn and her memory through this award, and I thank you for the confidence and support it has afforded me.

I graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 2016, and I am currently a senior theatre major. After graduation, I plan to move to New York City in order to further pursue acting as a career.

I have also discovered a passion for costume stitching in the past two years. I am currently enrolled in a costume design course to learn more about the field, and I am absolutely loving it. I look forward to any and all opportunities that may arise in this area as well as acting! As I also hope to teach in the future, I would like to attend a graduate education program with a focus in theatre or education.

I maintain a part-time job off campus in addition to my studies, and this semester I am additionally employed at the university as a stitcher in the costume shop. It can be hard to juggle all of these responsibilities, and stay as involved in the theatre department as I love to be.

Because of this, I am extremely appreciative of this scholarship. This award allows me to save more money as I prepare to move, stay better focused on my studies, and to be involved in the department!

Thank you again for giving to Fulbright College, for helping me further my theatre education, and in turn helping me achieve my dreams.

This college has provided me with an incredible education and I truly appreciate the opportunities both you and Fulbright College have provided me.


Anna Grace Estes

For more information about the Taryn Claassen Memorial Endowment Scholarship, or to make a year-end gift to support it, please give online now, or contact Fulbright College’s Office of Development and External Relations at 479-575-3712, or email


Andra Parrish Liwag

Director of Communications, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences 

479-575-4393 //