The Glen Oak Scholarship was started before the school even opened as way to attract and support young women from a variety of backgrounds.
One of the early fundraising events was a multi-band jazz concert sponsored by the Fairmont Festival Association and held at the Ridley Watts residence. The event was a resounding success and the association continued to host Glen Oak jazz fundraisers in subsequent years. Eventually, students, parents and other stakeholders held additional fundraisers to support the scholarship’s endowment.
After Glen Oak closed, the school, its assets and debts were acquired by Gilmour Academy, including the Glen Oak Scholarship Fund. Since that time, Gilmour has held the fund in a separate account, to be used only for the purpose of awarding the Glen Oak Scholarship. The Glen Oak Scholarship provides a modest amount of tuition assistance each year to a young woman in her senior year at Gilmour. Faculty members provide a list of juniors whom they see as candidates for the scholarship. These young women are invited submit an essay about the importance of the Glen Oak values of person, service and love.
Each year, the Glen Oak Scholarship Committee, composed of a group of Glen Oak alumnae and headed for nearly 40 years by Mary Ray G.O. ’75, reviews the essays, conducts interviews with the top candidates and selected a recipient(s). After their selection, the committee enjoys several touchpoints with the recipient(s). Committee members attend the end-of-year awards ceremony at which the junior recipient is announced. In the fall of the student’s senior year, the committee attends a luncheon for scholarship donors and their recipients. Finally, committee members attend the recipient’s senior project exhibition at the end of her senior year.
From the closing of the school in 1983 until 2012, there were few gifts made to the Fund, although scholarships continued to be awarded. In 2017, the $4,000 disbursement was spilt among three outstanding candidates, prompting a conversation about a fundraising effort to increase the endowment. The goal is to double the endowment from less than $100,000 in 2017 to $200,000, so that approximately $10,000 (5%) could be disbursed each year.
Members of the Glen Oak Scholarship Committee have worked closely with the Gilmour Academy Advancement Staff on several outreach efforts, including a 2017 letter and a 2018 brochure. We’d love to complete the fundraising in concert with the celebration the 50th anniversary of the opening of the school in September 2019.