Union Resources

William A. Lee Memorial Scholarship

William A. Lee

Each year, the Chicago Federation of Labor awards 10 William A. Lee Memorial Scholarships to high school seniors, five to the winners of the Academic Competition and five to the winners of the Random Drawing. The scholarships, valued at $2,000 each, may be used at any accredited college or university in the United States.

History of the Scholarship

The Chicago Federation of Labor renamed the scholarship in 1985 to honor Mr. Lee, the CFL’s longest-serving president. Mr. Lee devoted over 60 years to the cause of labor and civic and community service, with 38 of those years at the CFL.

Deadline to apply 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applications will only be accepted electronically. Completed applications must be received by the Chicago Federation of Labor by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Applications should be emailed to scholarship@chicagolabor.org. All parts of the application should be turned in at the same time.


  • The applicant must be a senior in high school and graduating in the spring of 2021.
  • Either the applicant or the applicant’s parent must be a member in good standing of a CFL-affiliated union. To confirm a union’s affiliation status, please call 312.222.1000.
  • The applicant must choose to enter either the Academic Competition or Random Drawing for the William A. Lee Memorial Scholarship. Students are not eligible to enter both categories. Applicants attempting to enter both categories will be disqualified from both categories.

Click here to download the 2021 Academic Competition Application

Click here to download the 2021 Random Drawing Application



2020 Winners

Congratulations to our 2020 William A. Lee Memorial Scholarship winners!

  • Sophie Doyle, Plumbers’ Local 130 UA

  • Samuel Barron, AFGE Local 648
  • Declan Fitzpatrick, IAFF Local 2
  • Anjini Grover, IFT-AFT Local 1274
  • Emma Katovich, IFT-AFT Local 1211
  • Mia McDermott, IAFF Local 2
  • Ellison McGovern, Laborers’ Local 4
  • Rachel Monahan, UFCW Local 881
  • Camryn Sexton, Carpenters Local 13
  • Destiny Wohlers-Newell, Carpenters Local 1185




Since 1991, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $4.3 million to students of working families who want to begin or continue their post-secondary education.

Click here for more information about the Union Plus Scholarship