FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Easton -  May 3, 2013)

(Left to Right)
Frederick Douglass Honor Society:
Eric Lowery, Karen Shook, Richard Potter, Shane Fisher & Ian Lopez
Margaret Ferree Scholarship: Mona Patel & Buck Duncan
Grover and Bernice Hastings Scholarship: Brandy Ferguson
Roberta B. Holt Scholarship: Front Row - Samantha Stelz, Michelle Benton, Courtney Utberg, Haley Reed & Dreama Stafford; Back Row - Haines Holt, Ray Bennett for Hunter Bennett, Max Grable & Madison Parks
Austin and Martha Steele Scholars: Dreama Stafford, Rebekah Palamaras, Megan Harper, Nicole Gould & Emma Harvey
Robert Walls Memorial Scholarship: Michelle Benton
Marlin U. Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship: Allison Szymanski


More than 100 donors, MSCF Board members, Foundation volunteers, scholarship recipients, family members, and guests gathered at the Talbot Country Club for the first annual Scholarship Awards Breakfast for the presentation of 20 scholarships valued at $217,000 with an average award of $10,850. The scholarships were supported by 8 of the 26 permanent scholarship funds at the Foundation that participate in the Pooled Scholarship Application Program sponsored by the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

Alice Ryan, Board member and chair of the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee and W. W. “Buck” Duncan, MSCF’s new President welcomed everyone to the first of what will be an annual event for the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.  On behalf of the Foundation Ryan noted, “As the largest scholarship provider in the 5 counties that we serve – Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties – we decided this year to consolidate our awards in one program so that we could properly celebrate each of our recipients and honor the donors that made the scholarships possible.”  Ryan noted that over 112 individuals applied for the 20 scholarships presented by the Foundation at the event and she complimented the winners for their extraordinary record of achievement and for their exceptional applications. 

Ryan also thanked the 12 members of the Scholarship Selection Committee -- Liz Brice, Dale Brown, Art Cecil, Lamont Cooke, Susie Dillon, Wayne Howard, John Lewis, Clay Railey, Jennifer Stuart, PJ Townsend, Meg van den Berg and M. Bruce Wellington – for the many volunteer hours of dedicated effort they invested in the selection process.  Committee members were assigned to applications outside of their county of residence to help insure an impartial review process and to allow for many perspectives on each application.

Buck Duncan, President of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, explained the significance of the scholarship program at the Foundation: “As Alice noted, we are the largest provider of scholarships in this region with over 1/3 of the more than $47 million of assets at the Foundation dedicated to scholarship support to deserving students in the Mid-Shore region.  This is a significant and growing program at MSCF and we are very grateful to the donors who make these scholarships possible and to the volunteers and staff at the Foundation that work so hard to make sure the most deserving applicants receive the awards.”

Alice Ryan and Buck Duncan presented the scholarships for the upcoming academic year.  The Dorchester Heritage Museum/Dale Price Memorial Scholarship of $500 was awarded to Carlie M. Marshall a graduating senior at Cambridge South Dorchester High School to honor the late Dale Price, a former president, docent, and long-time volunteer of Dorchester Heritage Museum.

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society scholarships of $500 were presented by Eric Lowery, Karen Shook and Richard Potter to Shane Fisher and Ian Lopez.  Fisher is a graduating senior at Saint Michaels High School and Lopez is a graduating senior at Easton High School.

The Margaret Ferree Memorial Scholarship was established at MSCF to honor this long time Talbot County resident and her commitment to education.  This 2 year, $2500 annual scholarship awarded to a graduate of a Talbot County public high school was presented to Mona K. Patel.

Brandy N. Ferguson was the recipient of the $1500 Grover Bert Hastings and Bernice Wooters Hastings Scholarship for graduates of Colonel Richardson High School.  The Hastings were retired educators from Caroline County Public Schools.

Haines and Nancy Holt joined in the presentation of the Roberta B. Holt Scholarships.  These scholarships were established through the estate of Roberta B. Holt and they represent a truly extraordinary commitment by the late Bobbie Holt to educational opportunity for residents of Caroline County.  $100,000 in scholarships were awarded to:  Samantha A. Stelz, $30,000  over 2 years; F. Hunter Bennett, $10,000; Michelle B. Benton, $10,000; Maxwell A. Grable, $10,000;  Madison A. Parks, $10,000;  Haley M. Reed, $10,000; Dreama N. Stafford, $10,000; and Courtney L. Utberg, $10,000.

The Steele Scholars program was established by the Foundation in 2009 through a very generous bequest from Austin and Martha Steele. Austin and Martha Steele were both educators who later in life resided in both Dorchester and Talbot counties.  Four year scholarships of $20,000 were awarded to one high school graduating senior from each of the five Mid-Shore counties: Nicole R. Gould, Talbot County, Easton High School; Megan A. Harper, Queen Anne’s County, Kent Island High School; Emma Harvey, Kent County, Kent County High School; Rebekah D. Palamaras, Dorchester County, North Dorchester High School; Dreama N. Stafford, Caroline County, Colonel Richardson High School.

The Robert F. Walls Memorial Scholarship to benefit Caroline County residents wishing to continue their education was established in memory of Robert F. Walls, a former employee at Saulsbury Brothers.  The $1500 scholarship was awarded to Michelle B. Benton.

The final scholarship, a $10,000 four year scholarship for students with a commitment to a career in education was established to honor the memory of Marlin U. Zimmerman, principal and teacher at Easton High School from 1938-1968.  Allison A. Szymanskian Easton High School Senior was the recipient of the scholarship and will have her name placed on a plaque on display at Easton High School.

Buck Duncan closed the awards breakfast by thanking the donors, the professional advisors, Foundation board members and volunteers, the students, and especially their families for the success of the scholarship program at MSCF.