Ken Willard grew up in Menomonie and found his way to the studios of Pixar Productions where he was able to bring joy to millions of people. As one of the computer animators at Pixar, in conjunction with Walt Disney Studios, Ken brought his creative art of animation to the screen in such popular feature films as Toy Story and Nightmare Before Christmas. He also contributed to television productions, Bumpy and Gumby.
After Ken he died of a brain aneurysm in 1995, at the age of 36, his family established The Ken Willard Memorial Scholarship as a way to memorialize his life while also benefiting the community where he grew up and attended school.
This scholarship shall be granted each year to a graduating senior enrolled at Menomonie High School, who has demonstrated scholastic ability and good citizenship who intends to further his/her education. Preference will be given to students with financial need as determined by the scholarship committee.
Projected Number of Scholarships and Amounts: The annual award of the scholarship is one $1,000 scholarship for a total of $1,000 awarded.
Recommended Criteria of Eligibility:
- Applicant must be a senior at Menomonie High School
- Preference will be given to those students who have demonstrated scholastic ability and good citizenship
- Preference will be given to students with financial need as determined by the scholarship committee
- The scholarship is non-renewable
“I will be attending the University of Minnesota Duluth this fall, to study Marketing and Graphic Design. I plan to use this degree to go into a career in advertisement.