Applications Open: May 6, 2016

Deadline: June 3, 2016

Winner Announced: August 8, 2016

The Sharp Award is named after Advertising Legend and industry diversity pioneer, William “Bill” Sharp. His Basic Ad Course and lasting devotion to helping young African American students find careers in the advertising industry was the inspiration for the creation of The Marcus Graham Project. Founded by Lincoln Stephens, The Marcus Graham Project (MGP) is a national, non-profit association dedicated to providing resources for today’s diverse youth that will strategically develop a viable pool of talent and leadership within the industry. Bill Sharp was a board member. 

The Bill Sharp Award, sponsored by J. Walter Thompson North America, J. Walter Thompson Atlanta, the 4A's, and the Sharp Family, recognizes excellence in marketing, advertising and media by awarding $3,500 to one (1) future leader, who is an alumni from MAIP, the 4A's Foundation, and/or MGP.




In partnership with the 4A’s & The Marcus Graham Project, the Sharp Award is open to MAIP, 4A's Foundation and MGP Alumni only. 



  • Resume
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Headshot
  • Essay Questions (500 words or fewer)
    • Describe your past and current experience and involvement in the advertising, marketing or media industry. Be sure to mention any leadership and/or mentorship roles you have held.
    • What are your career goals, both short and long term? How do you plan to achieve these goals?
    • How do you plan to use this financial support should you be awarded the scholarship?
    • Why is cultural/ethnic diversity and inclusiveness in the advertising, marketing and media industry important?