MacCurdy Salisbury hits 100th year of scholarships
Dozens of people crowded into the Lyme Art Association building June 6 as the MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation announced scholarship awards totaling more than $320,000 for the coming academic year.
Thirty-one new students were given awards totaling $98,800, while 61 others are receiving continuing awards that last up to four years. The top award this year was $6,500, while the smallest was $1,000.
In addition, the foundation presented two $500 awards. The W.E.S. Griswold Valedictorian Award went to Gabriel Stephins-Zumbarm, attending Yale University in the fall, and the Willis Umberger Salutatorian Award went to Reed Spitzer, accepted to Tufts University.
“The money all goes to the kids and to their family,” said Ned Perkins, secretary-treasurer of the foundation.
In all, the foundation has provided $2.5 million in support to students from Lyme and Old Lyme over the past decade.
And it’s not just younger students who have benefited. Perkins said older students, including those seeking nursing degrees, have applied and won awards.
This year, about three-quarters of those who applied won scholarships, which are handed out on the basis of financial need.
“It was a good market this year,” said foundation president Rowland Ballek, who noted the foundation has investments, sponsors and annual appeal and takes gifts and bequests.
Improved investment returns were the main reason why the foundation was able to up its awards this year by more than $40,000, Ballek said.
The foundation began making awards 125 years ago, but in the beginning the money went to support high school students who paid for their local education or for teacher salaries. This is the 100th anniversary of the foundation handing out college scholarships, the first two of which were for women to attend Connecticut College.
Students must retain a grade-point average of at least 2.0 to continue receiving support.
“I don’t know of any other organizations in our state or in fact our country that gives out grants the way we do,” Ballek said in a prepared statement.
For information, visit maccurdysalisbury.org.
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