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C. Eugene Cato Memorial Scholarships

To reward the efforts of Indiana’s high school student-athletes, the IHSAA and IHSAA Foundation, Fortè Sports Medicine, the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, and Sport Graphics, Inc. have partnered in sponsoring the C. Eugene Cato Memorial Scholarship Awards.

Each year, a minimum of 12 seniors are chosen from applicants throughout the state to receive a $2,500 scholarship for their high school accomplishments. These recipients are Indiana’s brightest stars and they embody everything that is right about high school sports.

These well-rounded, positive role models have demonstrated excellence in academics, school and community involvement, character, sportsmanship, and citizenship.


C. Eugene Cato

IHSAA Commissioner 1983-1995

Eugene Cato and the IHSAA

The Centennial Scholarship program was initiated in 2003-04 as a part of the IHSAA’s centennial celebration. Beginning in 2009-10, the annual scholarship awards program was been renamed in tribute to former IHSAA Commissioner C. Eugene Cato. “Gene” served as Assistant Commissioner of the Association from 1976 until he became the Commissioner of the IHSAA in 1983 - providing leadership until he retired in 1995. His passion for athletics and his belief in the intrinsic value of athletic competition on the formation of a child’s character enabled Gene to positively impact generations of young men and women with his well-known “Firm, Fair, and Friendly” approach to caring for others. Gene passed away in October of 2008.

The Awards

All selected C. Eugene Cato Memorial Scholarship Award recipients will be honored at the IHSAA Foundation Impact Awards. This year's event will be held on Tuesday, May 7th at Gridiron Hall.

Scholarship Criteria

- During the 2023-24 school year, the student must be enrolled and participate in interscholastic athletics at an IHSAA member school.

- The student must be a senior at the IHSAA member school who will graduate during the school year for which the award is being applied for.

- The student must have won a varsity letter as an athlete in at least one of the 22 IHSAA-sanctioned athletic programs.

- The student must be nominated by the principal or athletic director.

- The student must have a minimum of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale or the equivalent.

- The student must have no violations of his/her school's athletic code of conduct.


Application Process

Applications for the C. Eugene Cato Memorial Scholarship Awards are available on the IHSAA portal website ( The application will be accessible to member school principals and athletic directors. The member school is responsible for establishing the process by which its nominee is selected. A member school principal may nominate only one student-athlete per year and should submit the application to the IHSAA by February 29, 2024.

The School Principal or Athletic Director should initiate the nomination process. To nominate an athlete, click here to login and complete the application. After completing the form, the information will be electronically sent to the nominated student. Once the student completes their section, the form will be electronically returned to the Principal/Athletic Director for a final review and submission to the IHSAA. If you have any questions on this process, please contact IHSAA Foundation Director, Trip Lukemeyer, at or 317-846-6601.

Meet Our Past Recipients

A scholarship from the Foundation meant to me a gateway of opportunity. With the aid of the scholarship, I got the opportunity to get most of my college paid for and run at the collegiate level. Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Maci Easton

2021 Eugene C. Cato Memorial Scholarship Recipient

2023-24 Cato Recipients

Cato Recipient - Mary Bellia

Molly Bellia

South Bend Saint Joseph High School
Cato Recipient - Mary Cox

Mary Cox

Monrovia High School
Cato Recipient - Ava Decker

Ava Decker

Elkhart High School
Cato Recipient - Ashton Elpers

Ashton Elpers

North Posey High School
Cato Recipient - Jacob Harker

Jacob Harker

Shelbyville High School
Cato Recipient - Whitman Horton

Whitman Horton

Crawfordsville High School
Cato Recipient - Ava Lehmkuhler

Ava Lehmkuhler

Lebanon High School
Cato Recipient - Ethan Popp

Ethan Popp

Harrison (West Lafayette) High School
Cato Recipient - Emma Schipp

Emma Schipp

Jasper High School
Cato Recipient - Jack Steadham

Jack Steadham

Indianapolis Bishop Chatard High School
Cato Recipient - Kyah Steeval

Kyah Streeval

Edinburgh High School
Cato Recipient - Jake Tippmann

Jake Tippmann

Fort Wayne Snider High School
Cato Recipient - Erin Zhu

Erin Zhu

Culver Academies