Mater Dei, Reitz Memorial students receive Father Endress scholarship 

Thom Endress, left, presents the Father Endress Scholarship plaque to Mater Dei senior Edan Wilson. The Message photo by John Rohlf

NOTE: For a video from the event, click here

By John Rohlf 

The Message assistant editor

Four Catholic high school seniors were recently honored with the Father Endress Scholarship.

Mater Dei seniors Kylie Frey and Edan Wilson and Reitz Memorial seniors Aubrey Flatt and Paul Folz were each awarded with the scholarship, which was established in 2021 in honor of the late-Father James Endress. The scholarship benefits well-deserving Mater Dei and Reitz Memorial graduates who are planning post-secondary education at any accredited technical or vocational school, college or university in the United States. The scholarship allocates a total of $40,000 over four years to recipients. 

Reitz Memorial High School students Paul Folz, second from left, and Aubrey Flatt, second from right, were awarded the Father Endress Scholarship. The Message photo by John Rohlf

Reitz Memorial Principal Aaron Schmitt noted Flatt has been “heavily involved in the Memorial community” through multiple extracurricular activities and clubs. She has actively participated and taken leadership roles within the organizations, he noted. 

“She is a leader and role model for her peers in living out her commitment to her faith through her involvement in the Campus Ministry Club and Memorial’s liturgies,” Schmitt said. 

He added Flatt’s community engagement extends beyond the school environment. He noted she was actively involved in service initiatives including the Challenger League, the Ronald McDonald House and serving as a church server and Eucharistic minister at St. John the Baptist Parish. 

Flatt is the daughter of Greg and Elizabeth Flatt. She is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish in Newburgh. Flatt plans to attend Ball State University next year and major in nursing. 

“I feel really honored to be able to receive this,” Flatt said. 

Reitz Memorial Principal Aaron Schmitt speaks during the March 22 Father Endress Scholarship presentation at Reitz Memorial High School. The Message photo by John Rohlf

Paul Folz “has been a vital member of the school’s Campus Ministry club,” Schmitt said. He noted Folz has been an active member of the Brotherhood of St. Dominic Savio and regularly served at school masses. Although Folz shows an interest in all elements of Catholic theology, he is particularly interested in the Church’s liturgy, Schmitt noted. 

“Paul has taken on an extra project in his Apologetics class and is writing a senior capstone project on the importance of the Eucharist in the life of the Church,” Schmitt said. “This is something that Paul himself asked if he could do on his own accord. It is not a requirement of the class.” 

Folz is the son of Donald and Mary Folz. He is a member of Good Shepherd Parish in Evansville. He plans to attend Murray State University and major in agriculture systems technology. 

“Thank you for everything. For everybody here really,” Folz said. “I couldn’t be in this position without multiple people…”

Six candidates at Mater Dei High School made it to the third round of interviews, with Frey and Wilson earning the scholarships. Mater Dei Director of Marketing and Communications Peyton Ritter said the application process was “extensive,” with Frey and Wilson earning the scholarships. 

“All six candidates are very deserving and the scholarship committee had a very difficult decision,” Ritter said. 

Kylie Frey, second from left, and Edan Wilson, second from right, were awarded the Father Endress Scholarship. The Message photo by John Rohlf

Frey’s extracurricular activities include serving as president of the senior class. She was also a four-year athlete and team captain on both the basketball and track and field teams. She also has served as a Eucharistic minister. 

“Kylie Frey is a valued member of the Mater Dei community,” Mater Dei Director of Guidance Shea Reneer said. “To know Kylie is to love her. She has a beautiful outgoing and caring personality combined with strong leadership skills. Faculty, staff and her peers are drawn to her. Based on her commitment to her church, her family and her school, Kylie Frey is most deserving of the Endress Scholarship. “ 

Frey is planning to attend the University of Southern Indiana and study nursing. She is the daughter of Ryan and Stephanie Frey. She is a member of St. Joseph Parish, Vanderburgh County. 

“This scholarship makes me feel so grateful for all that God has given me and fuels me to continue to give service and use this scholarship to pay it forward,” Frey said. 

Wilson is the vice president of the senior class. He was a four-year athlete on the Mater Dei soccer team. He is also involved with Dominic Savio Bible study and Holy Redeemer High School youth group. He is also a Eucharistic minister. He is one of the class’s 2024 valedictorians. 

“Edan Wilson embodies a life of faith and humility,” Reneer said. “His quiet demeanor is a gift that allows him to be present and aware of each individual in his path. Edan also has a heart of service, always helping others. These are some of the reasons Edan is well-respected by his peers and the faculty and staff of Mater Dei and is most deserving of the Endress Scholarship.” 

Wilson plans to attend Purdue University and study chemical engineering. He is the son of Beth Wilson. He is a member of Holy Redeemer Parish in Evansville. 

“Service should be a motivation to give back what you have received,” Wilson said in his application essay. “Jesus calls us to use the gifts we have received to serve others. With this scholarship, I will be able to focus more on my studies at Purdue University and receive my undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. Receiving this scholarship has been one of the most impactful moments in my life as it will allow me to sacrifice my time, talent and treasure and be the “hands and feet of Jesus” we are called to be.” 

Father Endress was ordained April 3, 1960. Endress served the Diocese of Evansville and his country in many roles, including 17 years as an Army military chaplain, before returning home and eventually retiring in 2004. He died Jan. 20, 2021, at age 86.