Five scholarships are awarded annually to Gamma Theta Upsilon members: four to undergraduates, and one to a continuing graduate student. See the GTU Constitution for more information regarding each scholarship.

  • The Buzzard Undergraduate Scholarship - awarded to a college senior for use toward graduate school expenses
  • The Buzzard Graduate Scholarship - awarded to a continuing graduate student
  • The Maxfield Scholarship - awarded to a junior or senior with either career or graduate school aspirations
  • The Richason Scholarship - awarded to a junior or senior with either career or graduate school aspirations
  • The Rechlin Scholarship - awarded to a junior or senior with either career or graduate school aspirations

The evaluation committee reviews each scholarship application with particular attention to the following items: cumulative GPA, geography GPA, letters of recommendation, applicant’s contribution to local GTU chapter and the department, as well as the applicant’s own appraisal of how the scholarship will help him or her personally and professionally.

For further information and deadlines, visit Gamma Theta Upsilon honor society website at

About GTU Scholarships

  1. Dr. Robert Guy Buzzard:

    Dr. Buzzard, the founder of Gamma Theta Upsilon, received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Chicago in 1916 and 1917, respectively. He served in World War I, after which he undertook his PhD at Clark University, completing it in 1925. He accepted a position at Illinois State Normal University in 1923 and taught there until 1933, at which time he became President of Eastern Illinois State Teachers College (now Eastern Illinois University).

    While at Illinois State Normal University, Dr. Buzzard founded GTU, on May 15, 1928, as a “national professional fraternity in Geography,” fulfilling what he saw as a need for such a national professional organization for geography students. Dr. Buzzard served as Secretary/Treasurer until 1933 and later as President (1946-1948).

    Following his retirement from Eastern Illinois State Teachers College in 1956, Dr. Buzzard taught at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (1957-1959) and at Arizona State University in Tempe (1959-1961).  Dr. Buzzard received several honors, including the first GTU Distinguished Service Award in 1972 and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Eastern Illinois University in 1976. He died in 1979 in California at the age of 88.

  2. Dr. Orland Maxfield:

    Dr. Maxfield has, perhaps, the longest history with GTU, having first become involved in 1963 when he established a chapter at the University of Arkansas extending to his service as Historian through 2002. Dr. Maxfield received his Bachelor’s degree from George Peabody College for Teachers in 1945 and his Master’s degree from Ohio State University in 1946. He accepted a position in the Department of Geology at the University of Arkansas. 

    Within two years, Professor Maxfield successfully negotiated for the creation of the Department of Geography at the University of Arkansas.  In 1950, he left Arkansas temporarily to pursue his doctorate degree, and completed his course work in one year, after which he returned to Arkansas. He completed research and was awarded the PhD degree in 1963. Dr. Maxfield served as Chair of the Geography Department (now the Department of Geosciences) at the University of Arkansas for many years.

    Dr. Maxfield’s service to GTU is extensive. He served as Executive Secretary continuously from 1972 through 1992, after which he became President (1993-1994) and then he served as Historian, from 1998 through 2003. Dr. Maxfield died in 2003 at the age of 78.

  3. Benjamin F. Richason, Jr.:

    Dr. Richason served in a number of capacities with GTU and was a very strong proponent of establishing an international presence through chapters worldwide. After service as a photo interpreter in the Air Force from 1942 to 1946, he received his B.A. and MA from Indiana University, Bloomington and his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Dr. Richason then undertook post-doctoral work in remote sensing at Purdue University.

    In 1952, he joined the faculty at Carroll College (now Carroll University) in Wisconsin, where he had a significant impact, as evidenced by the award in his name that is given to a University faculty member in recognition of excellence in teaching, research and educational innovation.

    Dr. Richason served GTU in many capacities, including President (1981-1982) and Loan Fund Trust Officer (1969 to 1980). He also served as President of the National Council for Geographic Education in 1969, and he was the editor of the bestselling text, Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Environment, which won the Geographic Society of Chicago’s Publication Award in 1978. Dr. Richason was Chair of the Carroll College Department of Geography when he died in 1988.

  4. Dr. Alice T.M. Rechlin Perkins:

    Dr. Perkins served GTU in many capacities, spanning from 1973 through 1988. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University in 1965 and her PhD from the University of Michigan in 1970. She joined the faculty at Valparaiso in 1965 and was on the faculty there until 1986, during which time she also served as Chair of the Geography Department.

    Dr. Perkins joined National Geographic Society in 1986, where she directed geographic research and supervised cartographic activities. In 1994, she became the first woman to hold the title of “Geographer” at the National Geographic Society. Although she officially retired from the National Geographic Society in 1997, Dr. Perkins continued to serve on the Society’s Research Committee. 

    During her career, Dr. Perkins served the Association of American Geographers, the American Geographical Society and the National Council for Geographic Education in leadership positions. She became 2nd Vice President of GTU in 1973, moving through to President in 1977-1978. She remained on the Executive Committee as Immediate Past President and returned as Historian from 1985 through 1986. Among her accomplishments with GTU, Dr. Rechlin was instrumental in development of the Visiting Geogrhagical Scientists Program. Dr. Perkins died in 2002 at the age of 70.

AAG-GTU Travel Award Application

The AAG-GTU Travel Award provides support for student members of GTU to attend the national annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers. Travel awards are available with preference to geography undergraduate and graduate students who are attending an AAG meeting for the first time and who will serve as an author or co-author on a paper or poster being presented at the meeting.

Complete online application now!