July 13, 2012

Daniel D. Smothers Memorial Scholarship

The Daniel D. Smothers Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the life and legacy of a loving, God-fearing son, charismatic friend, classmate and hard-working student. Born August 7, 1980, Daniel is survived by his parents, Debry Davis and Leon Gilliam; stepfather, Albert L. Davis; sister, Shivetta Smothers and countless other family and friends.

On January 2, 1999, Daniel’s life came to an abrupt end through a random act of violence. Prior to his untimely death, Daniel was accepted at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas on an athletic scholarship. While in high school, he was a member of Saginaw High School’s varsity football team, Mighty Marching Trojan Band, National Honor Society, Teacher Cadet, track and field, Y.E.S. Club, Concert chair, Homecoming court, Adopt-a-Freshman and the varsity basketball team. While most know sports to be Daniel’s love, many also remember his love for music. Beginning in the third grade at Morley Elementary School, Daniel continued to play the trumpet for eight years.

If he were alive today, Daniel would most definitely be an elementary school teacher. His afternoons would be spent coaching little league football and he would devote his weekends to games and community activities. Daniel would be the teacher his students would remember for a lifetime because he would find creative ways to help them grasp difficult material. He wouldn’t be afraid to make himself look silly as long as it was to the benefit of someone else.

If you ask any member of Saginaw High School’s graduating class of 1999 to name one thing they most remember about Daniel, no one could answer. We wouldn’t be able to summarize Daniel’s being into one word. His infectious smile and laugh instantly drew you to him. Everyone knew, once you met Daniel, you met a lifetime friend. His love, light, and legacy will forever continue in our hearts and through this scholarship.


  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • Graduating high school senior from Saginaw United High School
  • Resident of the City of Saginaw
  • Full-time enrollment
  • Pursuing an undergraduate degree

Evaluation Criteria

  • Special essay (30)
  • Financial need (15)
  • Scholastic record (15)
  • Letters of recommendation (15)
  • Community service (10)
  • Extracurricular/school activities (10)
  • Leadership (5)