Moriah Hughes Memorial Scholarship

The Moriah Hughes Scholarship will be awarded each year to two graduating athletes (a boy & girl) who have participated in either Track or Cross Country during their high school career.  The scholarship procedure will have two parts: the first part will be the nomination of student-athletes by the track and cross country coaches, who will each nominate two athletes (a boy and a girl) for a total of four nominees.  If the coaches so desire, they can also have the track and cross country athletes nominate two athletes (a boy and girl) for the award (which nominees may be the same or different as the coaches’ nominees).  The second part of the process will be the application by each nominee to the FHSF scholarship committee.  The scholarship committee may consult with the coaches but will make the final determination as to the award recipients.

The recipients will best exemplify Moriah’s spirit of teamwork, hard work, encouragement and team spirit.  The candidate should demonstrate many, if not all, of the following characteristics:

Leadership Skills:

An athlete who demonstrates a sense of responsibility and inspires commitment and loyalty in others.  An athlete who is always found encouraging and inspiring others, regardless of their ability or place on the team, to reach their full potential.

Athletic Interest:

An inspirational athlete who is hard working, but is not necessarily the top performing or best athlete on the team.  The athlete is a team player who encourages, uplifts and cares for his/her teammates and nurtures the love of the sport in others.

Balanced Personality:

An athlete with good interpersonal skills, adventurous, optimistic, understanding of others, with a balanced approach to life.

This scholarship was established in honor of Moriah Hughes, a Hamilton High School graduate who was killed in December of 2015 at the age of 24 in a car accident while driving to work on a snowy morning in American Fork, Utah. In the wake of this tragedy, Moriah’s parents, Russell and Sherri Hughes (both Hamilton High graduates themselves), worked with the Foundation to establish a scholarship to be awarded each year to a boy and girl track or cross country athlete who exemplify Moriah’s spirit of generosity, team spirit, and hard work. In the wake of Moriah’s accident, many community members have stepped forward to help fund this endowment.

Moriah loved athletics and vigorously pursued athletic fitness after her high school graduation, including running, weight lifting, and hiking. She had fond memories of her high school participation in track and cross country and the many friendships she developed with her teammates. While her death was tragic and untimely, Moriah’s family has received consolation from the fact that she was in excellent health and was an organ donor. As a result, Moriah was able to donate seven life-giving organs to six different individuals in need.

For those who do not know about us, the Friends of the Hamilton School Foundation was established in 1993. It started as a small non-profit to support projects not covered in the school budget (such as sidewalks at Daly school, playground equipment, etc.). As time went by, graduates and community members alike have donated generously to supplement school and extracurricular programs. Perhaps most importantly, community members and former graduates have funded a number of permanent endowments (including through legacies as part of their estate planning) which provide annual scholarships for graduating seniors of Hamilton High School. As a result of these gifts, last year, for example, the Foundation was able to award nearly $80,000 to graduating seniors. The Foundation is operated by an eleven member Board of Trustees, with an ex officio member from the school board, all of whom donate their time. The Foundation is required to make the public aware that it always appreciates donations, large or small.

The Hughes’ family would like to adequately fund Moriah’s scholarship so that it can become a permanent endowment. Donations to Moriah’s scholarship can be made payable to: “The Friends of the Hamilton School Foundation” (or “FHSF”), with “Moriah Hughes Scholarship Fund” in the memo line and mailed to: FHSF, P.O. Box 1514, Hamilton, MT 59840, or you can donate online by going to and select the Moriah Hughes Scholarship under the scholarship tab.