Houston Heights Woman's Club

Hortense Ward Scholarship


This Hortense Ward Scholarship is presented annually by the Houston Heights Woman's Club to a female law school student from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, The University of Houston Law Center or South Texas College of Law Houston. The recipient should exemplify the qualities of public service and commitment to social causes, especially those involving women. Candidates are asked to provide a brief statement describing their involvement in these initiatives and how they plan to continue this involvement in their legal careers.  The scholarship will be $2,500 and is presented to the recipient at the HHWC Founder's Day reception.

Due to the restrictions in place pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, HHWC made the decision to postpone awarding the scholarship in 2020, and will award the scholarship on September 30, 2021.

The scholarship recipient will be chosen from the applications submitted in the spring of 2020. 

The applicant who is selected as the scholarship recipient, will be notified by phone or email by September 1, 2021.  Houston Heights Woman's Club will contact the awardee only. We are not able to contact each applicant regarding the status of her application. The scholarship may be used for direct school expenses or for living expenses. 

The award is given to the scholarship recipient via a check, presented during the Houston Heights Woman's Club Founder’s Day reception at the clubhouse, located at 1846 Harvard Street, 7:00 pm on Thursday, September 30, 2021



    Hortense Ward

Hortense Sparks was born in Matagorda County in 1872. As a young woman, she taught school before marrying Albert Malsch, with whom she had three daughters. The couple lived in Houston, where Hortense worked as a court reporter and first became interested in studying law. She was divorced in 1906 and in 1908 married Houston attorney William Henry Ward. She passed the Texas bar exam in 1910 and became the first woman admitted to the Texas state bar. She and her husband practiced law together. In 1915, she became the first southern woman admitted to practice before the Supreme Court.

As a suffragist and legal activist, Ward played a prominent role in the 1913 passage of the Married Woman's Property law, which gave women control of their separate property and wages, and in the passage of the 54-hour work week for women. In 1918, she helped prepare the legislation for the primary suffrage bill and the Texas prohibition law. On June 27, 1918, Hortense Ward became the first woman in Harris County to register to vote.

In addition to her work on the All-Woman Supreme Court case, Ward was active throughout the 1920s in both state and national politics, particularly in fighting against the Ku Klux Klan. She continued to practice law until the death of her husband in 1939. She died in 1944.


Upcoming events

Thursday, August 05, 2021 7:00 PM • Fred Astaire Dance Studios, 1051 Heights Blvd, Ste 230 (above Tiff’s Treats)
Thursday, August 12, 2021 7:00 PM • Hosted Virtually
Thursday, September 09, 2021 7:00 PM • Hosted Virtually
Thursday, October 14, 2021 7:00 PM • Hosted Virtually
Thursday, November 11, 2021 7:00 PM • Hosted Virtually
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