Slator Aplin, Telluride High School Graduate Receives $20,000 Scholarship

Carol Aromstrong & Slater Alpin by Brenda Colwell

Carol Aromstrong & Slater Alpin by Brenda Colwell

Family and friends of Neil Armstrong and the Telluride Foundation created the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund to honor the achievements and character of the late American hero and astronaut who died on August 25, 2012.

The Neil Armstrong Scholarship will be awarded each year to a regional high school student pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). On May 29, 2013 Neil’s wife, Carol Armstrong, attended Telluride High School’s (THS) Awards Night and presented the first annual $20,000 Neil Armstrong Scholarship to exceptional THS graduating senior, Slater Aplin.

Slater Aplin is an impressive young man who grew up in Telluride where he has excelled in the classroom, in the sporting arena and in the community. Aplin graduates THS with a 4.33 GPA, while taking five AP classes and participating in many extra-curricular activities. Aplin is the founder and president of the Telluride Climbing Club, president and treasurer of Telluride Interact Club, and local youth director for Southwest Conservation Corp. He is also involved with ASF Foreign Exchange, THS varsity soccer, THS track and field, Young People’s Theater and a community radio DJ with KOTO. He worked as a mason, and served as an intern with Tommy Hein Architecture, but it was his summer internship in electrical contracting that lead to Aplin’s passion for electrical engineering and renewable energy. Slater Aplin starts Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California this fall, where he plans to pursue an electrical engineering degree. Aplin received a total commitment of $20,000, to be awarded $5,000 each year for four years. He must maintain a 3.0 GPA to receive all of the funding.

“We are proud to award Slater Aplin as the first Neil Armstrong Scholar. This young man demonstrates leadership, ambition, exceptional character, and a passion for science,” said Carol Armstrong, founder and member of the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Committee, “I think Neil would be proud of this scholarship and the Committee’s investment in Slator.”

The scholarship committee consists of Carol Armstrong, wife of Neil Armstrong; Mike Armstrong, Telluride Foundation Board Member; Paul Major and April Montgomery of the Telluride Foundation; and administrators/teachers representing the participating school districts. The committee selects students from a pool of regional applicants, including students from the Telluride (Telluride and Mountain schools), Norwood, West End (Naturita, Nucla, and Paradox schools), Ridgway and Ouray school districts, and will award one four-year scholarship annually based on essay, merit, and need.

The Neil Armstrong scholarship fund was created by friends and family of Neil Armstrong in his memory and consists of a permanent endowed fund, which will generate a minimum of $20,000 annually for the scholarship. The Foundation is seeking to raise $1 million over the next year from individual donors to help build the fund’s permanent endowment.  For more information on the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund and the Telluride Foundation please go to and click on Funds & Initiatives.

About the Telluride Foundation:

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making. As a grant maker, the Foundation awards grants to qualified applicants that serve the people living and working in the Telluride area for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life within the region. For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit

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