Doncaster Scholars

Who are Doncaster Scholars?

Named for our school’s founding Head of School and his wife, the John and Robin Doncaster Merit Scholarship is awarded to one eligible student annually. Doncaster Scholars are the recipients of this scholarship, and these students are selected for their ability to perpetuate the rich diversity of voices that add global perspective to Selwyn’s campus, student, and family body. In the same way that the Doncasters nurtured diverse perspectives through academic rigor and experiential learning, the Doncaster legacy lives on as Doncaster Scholars promote diversity as a central tenet of the school’s mission.

 This full tuition scholarship is available to one incoming Upper School student each year of exceptional ability from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and communities. Ultimately, consideration for the John and Robin Doncaster Merit Scholarship is based on a student’s entrance testing, academic, artistic, and other noteworthy abilities, as well as their potential to contribute to Selwyn’s mission of cultivating global citizens.

Available to one incoming Upper School student each year, the John and Robin Doncaster Merit Scholarship intends to bring a rich diversity of voices and academic excellence to Selwyn’s campus, student and family body as the school nurtures truly global perspectives at North Texas’ premier school of choice.

Apply to be a Doncaster Scholar
To apply to become a Doncaster Scholar, review and submit the required application documents, linked here, before May 1 each year.

Support The John and Robin Doncaster Merit Scholarship
To help Doncaster Scholars thrive, consider contributing to Selwyn’s John and Robin Doncaster Merit Scholarship Fund. All proceeds of this fund contribute to the tuition of the John and Robin Doncaster Merit Scholarship.

To make a gift, visit the John and Robin Doncaster Merit Scholarship page, linked here.

If you are interested in including Selwyn in your estate plan, then the Selwyn School would be happy to connect you with tax specialists to assist you in the planning process. 

About John and Robin Doncaster

John Doncaster, affectionately known as J.D., served as Selwyn’s founding Head of School beginning in 1957. With a $100 loan from First State Bank of Denton, he rented a prairie-style building on Oakland Street near the Texas Woman’s University (TWU) campus. There, Denton Preparatory School was founded in the fall of 1957.

In 1959, as the school flourished, it relocated to a farm with acreage outside Denton. A boys’ boarding program was added. Classes were held in a farmhouse and a large red cattle barn converted into classrooms. In 1960, the first commencement was held near Unicorn Lake, which was named for the school’s mascot, the Unicorn.

As the school continued to grow in enrollment, J. Newton Rayzor Sr. offered J.D. 100 acres west of I-35 to build a campus. Denton Preparatory School moved when the first building was complete, and in 1963 the school was renamed the Selwyn School in honor of Newton Rayzor’s daughter, Selwyn. Buildings were added throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, with many notable structures designed by acclaimed Denton native and architect O’Neil Ford. In the early 1960s the school’s boarding program expanded to include girls, building its reputation and attracting students from the greater DFW area, the state of Texas, and around the world.

J.D.’s leadership of Selwyn was greatly enhanced through the contributions that Robin Doncaster offered the school first as a teacher of Latin and housemother of the girls dormitory beginning in 1961, and eventually as part of the dynamic team of John and Robin Doncaster. She trained at the London and Paris Cordon Bleu cookery schools, and was celebrated as a master cook, both at home and in the school. Among other activities she taught French and made costumes for the school plays. She married J.D. in 1965, and together with an adventurous faculty helped develop the academic quality of the school and its early leadership in experiential education, taking its students on adventure and service trips to many parts of the world.

The ethos of the school provided students with opportunities to excel in many ways. J.D. believed education outside the classroom was as valuable as the traditional college preparation conducted inside the classroom. Much of Selwyn’s curriculum involved outdoor activities including Saturday morning projects where students, faculty, and staff worked together to build patios, sidewalks, gardens, and many other campus improvement projects. This facilitated the building of a tight community among Selwyn’s parents and students alike, who shared a feeling of true ownership of the school. In time, a hallmark of Selwyn’s community building emerged in the Perspectives program where students traveled across the state, the United States, and the world to expand their global perspective.

The Selwyn School relocated to Argyle, Texas in 2017. As now the fourth location of this unique preparatory school, Selwyn thrives today by holding true to the same goals of student success rooted in the spirit of experiential learning that J.D. inspired more than sixty-six years ago while still meeting the contemporary needs of learners today.

Today, the John and Robin Doncaster Merit Scholarship serves to honor the legacy of our school’s founding family and their commitment to nurturing educational excellence in North Texas and beyond.

shoppinggateway trigger