Graduating seniors at Lufkin High School received $114,000 in scholarships from the Alumni Association Monday night at a ceremony at Tom Jack Lucas Auditorium. Big bucks! The LHS Alumni Association said that's the highest dollar amount ever for them.

Contributions by other donors topped $3.1 million, and added up to hundreds of scholarships for 180 students. All that studying DID pay off. I know I thought all the hard work might never end, and then suddenly it did and then I wondered where all the time had gone. Scholarships are a nice way to ease the transition to college. They're a pat on the back, and provide a financial boost in the fall.

We've highlighted some of the local winners here:

Valedictorian Ruth Watkins got the first ever John Mitchell Memorial Scholarship, named for the beloved teacher.

Morgan Elizabeth “Lizzie” Wallace and Amy Zhang were the winners of the Virginia and Bayo Hopper Memorial Scholarship. Wallace has spent much of this year in a battle with cancer, and the crowd supported her with an ovation and whooping applause Monday.

Conner Groom won the first ever Coach John Outlaw Memorial Scholarship.

Congrats to all, and toss that cap high at graduation! It won't be long and you'll be COLLEGE grads and you'll be working 9 to 5 and married with 2.5 children and a dog. Enjoy the new beginning!