Topeka, Kan. – Washburn University is strengthening an important community partnership by offering a special scholarship to the queen of Fiesta Topeka. Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek, president of Washburn University, will present the award to Lourdes “Lourie” Rodriguez at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13 in Morgan Hall, outside of Suite 200.

    Rodriguez, a senior at Topeka High School, was crowned the 90th Fiesta Topeka Queen during the annual festival in July. The five-day celebration of Mexican culture is a fundraiser for Holy Family School, and Rodriguez earned her crown by raising the most money among Fiesta royalty candidates.

    “Washburn has been a long-time sponsor of Fiesta Topeka and we greatly value our connection to this important community tradition,” Mazachek said. “We are thrilled to take this partnership one step further by offering a scholarship to Lourie, recognizing her hard work and deep commitment to her community. She exemplifies Washburn’s motto of ‘non nobis solum,’ not for ourselves alone.”

    Elizabeth Barranco, partnership chair 2023 of Fiesta Topeka, echoes the importance of this local partnership. She said Fiesta Topeka looks forward to continuing to develop and expand opportunities for those in our local Hispanic community.

    “Washburn is leading the way to continue to stimulate economic vitality by investing in one of our greatest resources, our youth,” Barranco said. “Thank you to the leadership of Washburn for providing this new scholarship award to Lourie, our 2023 Fiesta Royalty Queen. She is a very talented, deserving young lady.”

    Lourie has been an active member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church for as long as she can remember, starting as an altar server when she was five years old.  In 2011, she was crowned Little Miss LULAC and has performed with the dance troupe Ballet Folklorico de Topeka. She has played several instruments over the years such as the piano, violin and trumpet.  And her passion for helping others extends beyond her church community. She spends her free time working as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) to provide care for those in need. 

    This scholarship is one of several new opportunities being offered to Washburn students. Beginning this fall, as part of the Together We Thrive initiative, the Topeka Shawnee County Thrives Scholarship gives every Shawnee County high school graduate a $1,000 per year award at Washburn University, or $750 per year at Washburn Institute of Technology (Washburn Tech). In addition, the Shawnee County Promise Scholarship is a full-tuition award at Washburn University for Shawnee County high school graduates who meet a certain economic threshold.


For further information, contact:
Lori Hutchinson
Exec. Dir. of Strategic Communications & Marketing
Telephone: 785-670-1711
Cell: 785-224-6212


back to top button