Faces Behind the Funds

The story is one that’s often told. Hamilton College had its beginnings in a plan of education drafted in 1791 by Samuel Kirkland, missionary to the Oneida Indians. He envisioned a school that would help Native Americans adapt to life in the new communities that were springing up as settlers streamed south from New England in search of land and opportunities in the wake of the American Revolution. The school, Rev. Kirkland believed, should be welcoming to all who wished the benefits of an education — children of the Oneidas and those of the white settlers, boys and girls, wealthy and poor.

Although the Hamilton-Oneida Academy opened to much fanfare in 1794 and did serve to educate many area youth, the fledgling school never came to serve Kirkland’s original goal. By the time it closed two decades later, few Oneidas had attended the academy, its student body made up almost entirely of the children of local white settlers. By 1805, with the white population of the region continuing to increase, plans were under way to re-charter the school as a college. The missionary, who died in 1808, would not live to see his dream become Hamilton College.

Like its predecessor, Hamilton College would experience days of prosperity and hardship throughout its 200-year journey to becoming one of our nation’s leading liberal arts institutions. And although Samuel Kirkland would hardly recognize his academy if he strolled the grounds today, one underlying principle would no doubt be familiar — the institution of learning built on a Hill overlooking the Mohawk Valley in Clinton, New York, remains a place where access and opportunity are paramount.

In 2006, the Alumni Review featured stories of the people whose names grace the College’s buildings (“Faces Behind the Façades”). The following pages offer a glimpse into the lives of just a few of the hundreds of individuals whose generosity helps the College in another critical way — student scholarship support. Currently, Hamilton maintains 455 endowed scholarship funds, the income from which provides roughly 40 percent of the College’s total financial aid budget. Those who make financial donations to scholarships help Hamilton preserve its dual promise of admitting the most qualified applicants without considering their financial need (known as “need blind”) and meeting each student’s full demonstrated financial need.

For some benefactors, providing opportunities for students who otherwise would not be able to afford a Hamilton education is a way of “paying it forward,” the same way past generations made possible their time on the Hill. Other donors establish a scholarship to honor a mentor or family member who made a significant impact on their lives. Still others wish to create a legacy that will continue long after they are gone. Whatever motivates the philanthropy, each benefactor has a story. Here are a few ...

The following excerpts were taken from profiles found on our scholarship page where more "faces behind the funds" are featured.

Remembering Mentors

The Owen A. Roberts Scholarship was established in 1989 by his former student Milt Kayle ’43.

As a teacher at Utica Free Academy, Owen Roberts ’25 formed a “speaking choir,” which garnered the attention of Duke Ellington, who used Roberts’ technique in a musical he composed. In 1946, Roberts became an English teacher and dean of men at Utica College, from which he retired in 1969.

Edgar Digger GravesThe Edgar B. Graves Scholarship was established in 1983 in his memory by family and friends.

Edgar B. “Digger” Graves joined the Hamilton faculty in 1927, teaching history until his retirement in 1969. A medieval scholar, he revised and undated Charles Gross’ A Bibliography of English History to 1485, published in 1975, and was elected a councilor of the Medieval Academy of America and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. However impressive his scholarship, Professor Graves was first and foremost a teacher who commanded the attention of generations of students as he explained everything from land tenure rights to the intricacies of the game of cricket.

C. Christine JohnsonThe C. Christine Johnson HEOP/Scholars Fund was established in 2001 to celebrate her 30th year with the program.

C. Christine Johnson, better known to her colleagues and students as “Ms. J,” directed Hamilton’s Higher Education Opportunity/Scholars Program, whose purpose is to support low-income students with academic promise. Prior to Hamilton, Johnson served as a logistics officer in the U.S. Air Force, retiring at the rank of lieutenant colonel. She was awarded a Commendation Medal and Bronze Star for her service in Vietnam. In 1994, N.Y. Governor Mario Cuomo named Johnson African-American of the Year for her commitment to HEOP. She retired from Hamilton in 2002 and lives in San Antonio, Texas, where she is active in her community, serving as an elected member of the “Silver Hair Legislature.”

Robin KinnelThe Robin B. Kinnel Scholarship was established in 2011 by Peter N. Schlegel ’79 in honor of his former professor.

The consummate teacher-scholar, Robin Kinnel, the Silas D. Childs Professor of Chemistry emeritus, has involved dozens of students in his research over the years. His latest work involves extracting natural products from marine invertebrates and synthesizing compounds potentially useful in fighting breast cancer. Professor Kinnel served as the College’s first associate dean and as advisor for students pursuing pre-med studies. One of those he mentored was Peter Schlegel ’79, who went on to become an expert in the treatment of male infertility. He serves as the James J. Colt Professor and Chairman of Urology at Cornell Medical College and urologist-in-chief at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Pioneering Inventors

The Lawrence A. Wood ’25 Memorial Scholarship was established in 1997 by Margaret Buoy Wood in memory of her husband.

For most of his career, Lawrence Wood ’25 worked in Washington, D.C., as a physicist and consultant with the National Bureau of Standards. He is credited with leading the development and manufacture of synthetic rubber during World War II, which replaced the supplies of natural rubber in the Pacific made unavailable to the Allies. Wood was awarded the Washington Academy of Science Award for Achievement in Physical Sciences in 1943 for his service to the nation.

The B.T. Babbitt Scholarship was established in 1924 by the Lillia Babbitt Hyde Foundation in honor of Hyde’s father.

At age 22, Benjamin “B.T.” Babbitt opened a machine shop in nearby Little Falls, N.Y., where he made pumps and engines. After a flood destroyed his business in 1834, he moved to New York City and began manufacturing sodium bicarbonate, soap powder and several varieties of “Babbitt’s Best Soap.” Sales of these products soared. In 1851, he became the first to manufacture and market soap in individual bars. An early marketing pioneer, he was the first to offer tours of his factories and one of the first to give free samples.

The Harlow Bundy Scholarship was established in 1964 by Margaret Bundy Scott and John McC. Scott in memory of Mrs. Scott’s father.

Harlow Bundy, Class of 1877, was practicing law in Oneonta, N.Y., when his brother Willard opened a workshop to manufacture his inventions. Willard’s passion was making clocks, including one that noted the day of the week, the month and the year, showed moon and seasonal changes, and played a jingle each hour. Harlow was fond of his brother’s inventions, but one in particular caught his eye — a clock that could record an employee’s work check-in and check-out times, as well as identification number. Harlow saw in this device a business opportunity, and together the brothers founded the Bundy Time Recording Co. By 1924, after many mergers and considerable growth, the company was renamed International Business Machines, better known today as IBM.

Edward TaylorThe Edward and Virginia Taylor Scholarship was established in 2011 through an initial grant from the Sunup Foundation as recommended by the Taylors.

Ted Taylor ’46 entered Hamilton planning to major in English. That was before he took an introductory chemistry course. Two years later, after exhausting the chemistry offerings at Hamilton, he left the Hill to continue his studies at Cornell University where he eventually earned his Ph.D. Taylor soon began a long career as a chemistry professor at Princeton University. In 1987, he and a colleague discovered a compound that they developed into the prescription drug Alimta, which, after only five years on the market, became the most prescribed new cancer drug in history.

Class Efforts

Roy EllisThe Class of 1981 Roy Alexander Ellis Scholarship was established in 1991 at the class’ 10th reunion.

Between its founding in 1812 and World War I, Hamilton enrolled only one African-American student, Joseph Spurlark, Class of 1889. Between 1919 and 1921, six African-Americans came to College Hill. Among them, and the only one to graduate, was Roy Ellis ’24, who, in 1921, had the courage to write a letter on behalf of all black students to Hamilton’s board chairman, calling attention to racial slurs on campus. “To the American Negro of today, it is a gross insult,” Ellis wrote. “Garner, Class of 1923, and I were in the United States Army during the World War. We risked our lives for Democracy; we are American citizens, and are not to be insulted or ridiculed because of the unfortunate conditions of servitude of our forefathers or because of the hue of our skin. Least of all, we do not expect this at Hamilton College, here, where a man’s ideals are supposed to be more elevated than among the common pack.”

The Class of 1939 Scholarship

This scholarship recognized the Class of 1939 on the occasion of its 50th Hamilton reunion. Every living classmate contributed to the effort.

Sidney BennettThe Sidney B. Bennett Memorial Scholarship was established by the Class of 1967 at its 25th reunion.

A decade after his graduation, Sid Bennett ’28 returned to the Hill as assistant to the president and, in 1941, only months before the United States entered World War II, became Hamilton’s first dean of admission. That conflict soon took a heavy toll on the College as the enrollment dipped to 37. The rest of the student body was accounted for by armed forces training programs, one of which — the Civilian Pilot Training program — was run by Dean Bennett. With peace came the return of the veterans, and applications jumped from 180 in 1941 to 1,800. The era of competitive admissions had begun, and Bennett navigated it by broadening Hamilton’s network of contacts and advancing its reputation among secondary schools. He retired in 1971.

Hamilton Legacies

The F. Hamilton Gouge Fund was established in 2013 by Thomas Hamilton Gouge ’66 and recognizes five Gouge generations at Hamilton and the role of Tom’s great-grandfather as an architect of the College.

Frederick H. Gouge, Class of 1870, operated an architectural practice in Utica, and many Hamilton buildings bore the mark of his influence either in their original design or through remodeling — chapter houses for Psi Upsilon, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Delta Upsilon, Sigma Phi, Alpha Delta Phi and Chi Psi; Knox Hall, Benedict Hall of Languages, Truax Hall of Philosophy and Soper Hall of Commons; Carnegie and new South College residence halls; and the College Chapel, the interior of which he remodeled in 1895. Frederick’s son George Gouge, Class of 1911, made his career as a pioneering advertising executive in New York. George’s son Frederick Hamilton Gouge ’40, known as “Ham,” double majored in mathematics and music. Although he pursued a career in the steel industry, he made singing with several groups a focal point of his life. His son Tom Gouge ’66 is a retired surgeon and the father of Alice Gouge ’93.

Watrous and CouperThe Couper Family Scholarship was established in 2000 by Esther Watrous Couper, widow of Edgar Couper ’20, and augmented by her son Richard Couper ’44 and his wife, Patsy.

The Couper and Watrous families have been a part of the Hamilton community extending back almost to its founding. Direct lineage can be traced to Charles Avery, Class of 1820, who served as professor of chemistry. By June 1999, the Couper and Watrous families included 21 Hamilton and Kirkland alumni, of whom eight were elected to Phi Beta Kappa, three became trustees, four received honorary degrees, five were faculty members and one served as acting president. Esther Watrous Couper established the Couper Family Fund in recognition of the scholarship support the College had provided for her husband, Edgar Couper ’20, and son-in-law Joseph Watrous ’42.

The Henry B. Watkins Scholarship, established in 1980, was created by the Watkins family, which included Robert R. Watkins, Class of 1879, Henry B. Watkins, Class of 1912, and Henry B. Watkins III ’73. 

In 1946, Henry Watkins, Class of 1912, moved to Naples, Fla., and formed a land investment firm that came to own most of the town. Watkins zoned, planned and developed much of Naples as it exists today. He also founded the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club, a resort renowned among celebrities. Hank Watkins ’73 followed in his grandfather’s footsteps. After several years in New York City, he moved back to Naples in 1991, formed the Naples Management & Investment Co. and was named executive vice president at his family’s hotel and golf club.

Bristol - Faces behind the FundsThe Gertrude F. Bristol Scholarship was established in 1975 by William M. “Mac” Bristol III ’43 in memory of his aunt.

Gertrude Flesh Bristol was the wife of Henry Platt Bristol, Class of 1910, who served as president and chairman of Bristol-Myers Co., the pharmaceutical firm co-founded by his father, William McLaren Bristol, Class of 1882. Mrs. Bristol shared her family’s love of Hamilton, establishing the Henry P. Bristol Professor of International Affairs chair and playing an important role in a $2 million contribution from her late husband’s estate in 1968 — at the time the largest single gift in the College’s history. Mac was the fifth of seven generations of Bristols with ties to Hamilton through its bicentennial year in 2012, starting with his great-great-great-grandfather Joel Bristol, an original contributor to the Hamilton-Oneida Academy and one of the first Hamilton trustees.

Captains of Industry

The A.G. Lafley Family Scholarship was established in 2006.

After double majoring in history and French, A.G. Lafley ’69 was set to pursue a doctorate in European Medieval and Renaissance history. That plan was interrupted by the war in Vietnam. After service with the U.S. Navy in Japan, he returned home realizing his interests had changed. Lafley earned his M.B.A. from Harvard before joining Procter & Gamble as a brand assistant. He rose through P&G’s ranks, ultimately becoming president, CEO and chairman until his first retirement in 2009; four years later, he was called upon to return to the company’s helm. A life trustee and chairman emeritus of Hamilton’s board, Lafley has served on the boards of such companies as General Electric, Legendary Entertainment and Dell. Named Chief Executive magazine’s 2006 CEO of the Year, he was tapped in 2011 by Barack Obama for the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Beth and Joel Johnson '65The Elizabeth B. and Joel W. Johnson Scholarship was established in 2012.

Joel Johnson ’65 earned his Hamilton degree in economics and his M.B.A. from Harvard. Following a three-year tour with the U.S. Army, which included a year in Vietnam, he began his civilian life as an employee at General Foods in marketing and strategic planning. After a time spent overseeing marketing efforts for the company’s new subsidiary, Oscar Mayer, he moved to Hormel Foods where he ultimately served as president, CEO and chairman until his retirement in 2006. His wife, Beth Bates Johnson, holds a master’s degree in divinity and a doctorate in counseling psychology. She was ordained to the ministry in the United Church of Christ and, in 2012, became minister for clergy health and vitality for the UCC’s Southwest Conference.

The Carlyle Fraser Scholarship was established in 1988 by Jane Fraser P’89 in memory of her uncle.

Carlyle Fraser, Class of 1917, co-founded the National Auto Parts Association (NAPA) in 1925 and, three years later, moved to Atlanta and founded Genuine Parts Co., which became one of the world’s largest manufacturers of automobile replacement parts.

J. Carter Bacot '55The Bacot, Gunn, Kempf Family Scholarship was established by J. Carter Bacot. The Bank of New York also made a gift to the fund in his honor.

J. Carter Bacot ’55, who earned his Hamilton degree in political science, continued his education at Cornell Law School before joining a small firm in his hometown of Utica. He later went to the Bank of New York as a securities analyst and was elected the bank’s president in 1974. Promoted to chairman and CEO in 1982, he served in that role until his retirement in 1998. A charter Hamilton trustee for 22 years, he served as board chairman from 1990 to 1994.

For Those Gone Too Soon

Qijia Fu '96 and his brother Shelton at his graduationThe Qijia Fu ’96 Memorial Scholarship was established by his family and friends.

Qijia Fu ’96 came from Beijing to College Hill where he double majored in mathematics and physics, capturing numerous prizes in both. He was the first Hamilton student to pursue two senior fellowship projects — one on neural networks in computers and a second on quantum theory. After graduating as salutatorian, Fu was set to begin a Ph.D. program in theoretical physics at Harvard University in the fall. Tragically, he was struck by lightning during a hiking trip in Utah’s Arches National Park that August and died the following day. Just two weeks prior, a paper he wrote for his senior fellowship was chosen by the American Physical Society as one of the top five undergraduate papers in the country.

The Arnold L. Raphel Memorial Scholarship was established in 1988 by his family and friends.

Arnold Raphel ’64 majored in government at Hamilton before earning his M.A. in public administration at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He later joined the Foreign Service, serving in Iran and Pakistan before returning to Washington, D.C., as a special assistant to Secretaries of State Cyrus Vance and Edmund Muskie during the Iran Hostage Crisis. He was the only member of the U.S. negotiation team fluent in Farsi and with firsthand knowledge of Iranian society. In 1985, President Reagan appointed him ambassador to Pakistan, where he created a “veritable army of fine young officers just as eager to serve as he was.” Ambassador Raphel was killed in an explosion that destroyed the plane carrying Pakistan’s President Muhammad Zia in August 1988.

The LT Michael J. Cleary ’03 Scholarship was established in 2006 in his memory, with leadership from Jim Schoff ’68 and Hal Higby ’68, classmates of Michael’s father, Pat Cleary ’68.

Michael Cleary ’03 graduated with honors in economics. He had been described by his professors as “an engaging student with a smile almost always on his face” and an “outstanding young man with great integrity.” Soon after graduation, Cleary enlisted in the U.S. Army and was quickly promoted to lieutenant. In December 2005, while serving in Iraq, he was killed by a roadside bomb just 10 days before his scheduled return home. He and his high-school sweetheart were to marry in February.

The September 11th Scholarship Fund is awarded based on financial need first to direct descendants of Hamilton alumni who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

This scholarship fund was established in 2001 by a lead gift from Stephen I. Sadove ’73, current chairman of the Board of Trustees, along with hundreds of gifts from alumni, parents and friends. The award honors the memory of Sylvia San Pio Resta ’95, Arthur J. Jones III ’86 and Adam J. Lewis ’87, who died in New York City’s Twin Towers during the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Starting from Scratch

The Fred L. Emerson Foundation Scholarship was established in 1986 by the Emerson Foundation.

F.L. Emerson was born on a farm in Lexington, Mass. After high school he worked as an office manager for a Boston shoe manufacturer, earning $2 a week. Eventually he moved to nearby Auburn, N.Y., to work for the Dunn and McCarthy shoe firm, where his accumulated knowledge of the business propelled him through the ranks to his eventual presidency of the company. In 1935, he made history by becoming the first person to make a commercial trip around the world, traveling some 53,000 miles by plane, boat and train. Known for his generosity, he created the Fred L. Emerson Foundation in 1932 to support the communities in which his company conducted business.

The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation Scholarship was established in 1964 in memory of Alfred H. Smith ’32.

At age 10, Charles Noyes began delivering newspapers in his hometown of Norwich, Conn., and two years later bought a newsstand concession with the earnings. After high school he moved to New York City and entered the real estate industry, where, by 1905, he became known in Manhattan as “The Dean of Real Estate.” His most famous deal occurred in 1951 when he sold the Empire State Building (built in 1931 and unprofitable until its sale) for the largest price in real estate history at the time. Noyes’ wife dedicated her life to serving her community so it was only fitting that, after her death, he established the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation in her honor. The scholarship at Hamilton memorializes the life of his late wife’s son and his step-son, Alfred Smith, who died several days before graduating from Hamilton in 1932.

The Edwin W. Dixon, Mary E. Dixon, Julia D. Comstock, Helen B. Comstock and Doane C. Comstock Scholarship was established in 1996 by Doane and Helen Comstock.

Following his father’s death, Doane Comstock ’27 was raised by his mother, Julia, and her parents, Edwin and Mary Dixon. Although dedicated to helping on the family farm in nearby Brewster, N.Y., Doane demonstrated the intellectual ability and self-discipline to excel in an academic setting. The Dixons and Comstocks were of modest means and sacrificed much, even mortgaging their farm, to send Doane to Hamilton. He graduated with honors in both philosophy and political science before returning home to work for a time on the farm. Soon thereafter he enrolled in law school at New York University and later practiced in both Brewster and New York City before opening a practice as a self-described “country lawyer.” Firmly committed throughout his life to quality education for all, Comstock and his wife, Helen, through their estates, created this scholarship. At the time, the $9.1 million gift was the largest in Hamilton’s history.

The Hans H. Schambach Scholarships were established in 1980.

At age 14, Hans Schambach ’43 moved from his native Germany to Clinton to live with his uncle and aunt, a cook on College Hill. He excelled in high school and studied political science at Hamilton; however, due to his German heritage, he was forced to leave after his sophomore year and was interned until the end of World War II. After his release, he founded the Hamilton Cast Corp., a precious metals company he named after his alma mater. In 1982, he retired and focused on collecting musical instruments, including a bow thought to have belonged to Mozart, a bow with a presidential seal thought to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson and two Stradivarius violins.

The David E. Mason Scholarship was established in 2004.

Life Trustee Dave Mason ’61 established this scholarship to assist members of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, demonstrating his gratitude for the financial assistance he received as a student. When he was a freshman, his father died, leaving his family in financial difficulty. Dean Winton Tolles found a way to cover his tuition, and his fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi, awarded him a scholarship to cover room and board. This assistance allowed Mason to graduate with his class and ultimately earn his degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

Other Notable Folks

The Daniel Burke Scholarship was established in 1964.

A lawyer and businessman, Daniel Burke, Class of 1893, was president of the American Bible Society at a time when the group’s distribution of bibles rose from 12 million a year in 104 languages to 24 million in 308 languages. Burke had the opportunity to present a set of bibles in 78 languages to President Eisenhower for the White House library in 1954, to which Eisenhower flipped to a random page and exclaimed to his wife, Mamie: “Look, Swahili!”

The John Michael Provenzano ’53 Scholarship was established in 2002 by Laura Provenzano in honor of her brother.

John Provenzano ’53 went from Hamilton to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps before earning an LL.B. from UCLA in 1958. He joined the L.A. district attorney’s office and became nationally known in 1966 when he worked with Johnnie Cochran to prosecute several Los Angeles police officers suspected in the slaying of African-American Leonard Deadwyler during a traffic stop.

The Benjamin D. Allen Scholarship was established in 1990 in his memory by family and friends.

Ben Allen ’50 earned his master’s degree in library science from Syracuse University. He worked at the Detroit Public Library and then as editor of various publications, including the Saturday Evening Post.

The William DeLoss Love Scholarship was established in 1952 by his grandson, William D. Love II, Class of 1909, and others.

A congregational clergyman, William Love, Class of 1843, was a committed Puritan and abolitionist who authored several books on religion and slavery. During the Civil War, he was a member of the Christian Commission Service and was active in the Freedmen’s Bureau. Love began a Hamilton legacy — his son, grandson and great-grandson (all named William DeLoss Love) were graduates of Hamilton — Class of 1873, Class of 1909 and Class of 1945, respectively.

The Gordon J. Barnett Memorial Scholarship was established in 1976.

Gordon Barnett ’20 settled in Altamonte Springs, Fla., where he opened a fernery and began a housing development advertised as an artists’ and writers’ colony where residents could “not only realize their artistic dreams, but could also find a market for their creative productions in a more lucrative way than they now do, while leashed to the grindstone of necessity.”

The Robert A. Kerr, Class of 1940, Scholarship was established in 2006.

Academically gifted, Bob Kerr ’40 skipped several grades and came to Hamilton at age 15. After graduating with a degree in economics, he enlisted with the U.S. Naval Reserve and fought in World War II, taking part in the landings on Sicily and Normandy. He was the youngest destroyer captain in the war. He had a successful banking career and all three of his children became Hamiltonians: William “Woody” Kerr ’79, Robert Kerr, Jr. ’81 and Alex Kerr ’87.

Raphael LemkinThe Raphael Lemkin Scholarship was established in 1988 by an anonymous donor in his memory.

Raphael Lemkin was born to a Jewish family in Poland. Having mastered more than nine languages as a teenager, he received his Ph.D. in philology from Ukraine’s University of Lwow in 1926. Lemkin served as secretary of the Committee on Codification of the Laws of the Polish Republic where he fought to protect minority groups from “acts of barbarism and vandalism.” He joined guerilla forces in 1939 to defend Poland from the Nazi invasion and was shot during the Siege of Warsaw. Lemkin escaped to Sweden and then to the United States, where he taught inter­national law at several universities. In 1944, he published Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation, Analysis of ­Government, Proposals for Redress, in which he coined the term “genocide.” His book was referenced during the Nuremberg trials, and, in 1948, the U.N. General Assembly approved his proposal for what would become the Genocide Convention.

Elizabeth J. McCormackThe Elizabeth J. McCormack Scholarships were established in 1993 by a grant from the Brown Foundation in her honor.

Elizabeth McCormack received her undergraduate degree from Manhattanville College before she was called to the Society of the Sacred Heart and became a nun. After earning advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. from Fordham University, she eventually returned to Manhattanville as president, leading its transformation from a Catholic women’s college to a nonsectarian coeducational institution. McCormack left the Order of the Sacred Heart and became a philanthropic and educational advisor to the Rockefeller family. She served on the boards of such foundations and businesses as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and General Foods. McCormack began her association with Hamilton in 1978 having served as a trustee of Kirkland College. Today she is a Hamilton life trustee.

The Linda Collens Wilson Scholarship was established in 1979 by Robert Wilson in memory of his wife.

Bob Wilson ’31 was a retired attorney living in Buffalo when his wife, Linda, was murdered by a 15-year-old neighbor, a foster child they had befriended. An investigation into the child’s life revealed that he had been abused, neglected and placed into 11 different foster homes. Although he could not change what had happened to his wife, Wilson believed the tragedy could lead to something positive. He founded Effective Parenting Information for Children (EPIC) in 1980. Although Wilson died in 2001, EPIC (known today as Every Person Influences Children) now has chapters in 17 states. According to its website, “EPIC workshops and trainings carry out Robert Wilson’s mission by involving the entire community in helping children make responsible decisions, understand and respect authority, develop positive self-esteem, plan for the future and succeed in life.”

  • About half of Hamilton students receive College-funded scholarships as part of their financial aid packages. These awards totaled $34 million in 2014-15.
  • Hamilton has 455 endowed scholarship funds, the income from which provides about 40% of the financial aid that the College allocates each year. The balance comes from the Annual Fund and the operating budget.
  • The average scholarship award (not including loans and work-study) for students who received financial aid in 2014-15 was $37,500.
  • Hamilton’s two oldest endowed scholarships — the Clinton Scholarship and the Lansing Scholarship — were funded in 1852, four decades after the College’s founding.
  • Currently it takes an endowed fund valued at $1.1 million to fund a full-tuition scholarship. As of June 30, 2014, 54 of Hamilton’s endowed scholarship funds are able to support the equivalent of a full-tuition scholarship.

Information for the introduction to this article from On the Hill: A Bicentennial History of Hamilton College by Maurice Isserman.

Contact Information

Stacey Himmelberger

Editor, Hamilton Alumni Review
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
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