THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Scholarship program of the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia is designed to foster better understanding and relations between the United States and Scotland through the exchange of the best and brightest university students from our respective countries. Each year, the Society provides funds to send a small group of American students to attend a full year at one of the “Four Ancients,” or the Scottish equivalent of the Ivy League: the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and St. Andrew’s. These U.S. scholars are chosen from a pool of applicants nominated by 30 participating colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area. In return, the Universities of Aberdeen and St. Andrew’s each select a Scottish student to spend a year at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively.
The current amount of each scholarship is $25,000. This amount increases from time to time as our funds and circumstances allow.
Key to the character of our scholarships is the mandatory one-year duration; that is, all Scholars must spend an entire academic year in Scotland. Unlike “semester abroad” or other short-term foreign study programs, this allows our Scholars to truly experience and appreciate the culture, history, and character of Scotland; to fully immerse themselves in the academic and social life at their chosen University, and to make life-long friends from Scotland and around the world. It takes a particularly courageous person to embark on such an adventure, but over 50 years of experience and hundreds of returned Scholars have taught us that the rewards are commensurately great.
All applicants for a St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia scholarship must be:
- United States citizens
- Enrolled full-time in one of the 30 participating colleges and universities
- Ranked in the top 25% of their class academically
- Nominated by their school Dean or foreign study program head
- Willing to spend an entire academic year at any one of the four Scottish universities
- Willing to attend a meeting of the Society in May prior to departure to be introduced as Scholars, and in October after their return from Scotland to describe their experiences
The following criteria are not required, and play no part in the selection process:
- Scottish ancestry: Scholarships are available to all students, regardless of race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, sex or sexual orientation, age, or physical disability.
- Current or intended course of study: Scholarships are available to students currently pursuing any course of study, and who wish to pursue the same or any different course of study while in Scotland.
- Financial need: Scholarships are available to students from households of all incomes.
- Matriculation year: While the majority of our applicants are Sophomores who will spend their Junior year abroad, scholarships are also open to rising Seniors and Sophomores. Those considering applying during their Freshman year should, however, also consider that their application will not reflect as deep and broad a set of academic qualifications as those who have completed two or three years of study.
III. Application and Selection Timing and Logistics
Each September, the Scholarship Committee delivers copies of our Application to the head of foreign study at each of the participating schools, and invites those schools to nominate a scholarship candidate. A link to the current application is available here:
The completed Application (Application, Questionnaire, personal essay, letters of recommendation, transcript, and photo) must be returned to the Scholarship Committee by no later than the first business day of March. The nominees will then be invited to attend a luncheon and interview with the Scholarship Committee on a date selected in March. This event consists of a luncheon and informal discussion with Committee members, extemporaneous responses to formal questions posed to each candidate during the luncheon, and 15 to 20-minute interviews of each candidate individually conducted by the entire Committee after lunch. The day begins promptly at 11:30 and ends at approximately 4:00.
The Committee will confer immediately after the last interview and rank all candidates in order of perceived merit. The top candidate will be contacted that same evening and offered a choice of which Scottish university he or she wishes to attend; the second-ranked candidate will be given her or his choice of the remaining schools, and so on until the scholarships to each university are filled. In 2017, the Society will send two American students to Aberdeen and one each to St. Andrew’s, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. As the typical pool of candidates consists of seven to twelve students, the odds of being selected are relatively high.
Once the scholarships have been awarded, the Committee will advise the Scottish universities of the name(s) of the Scholars who will be attending those schools the following Fall, and establish contact between the Scholars and their schools. All St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia Scholars are granted automatic admission to their Scottish university. However, it is still necessary that they complete the application materials and process in order to be formally admitted.
Scholarship funds are distributed in three tranches: in May and August before the scholars depart for Scotland, and in the October after they return. The May and October payments are smaller ($2,500 each in 2017), with the August payment making up the majority of the grant (in 2017, $20,000). The May and October payments are distributed at the corresponding meetings of the Society during which the Scholars will introduce themselves before their departure and describe their experiences in Scotland upon their return.
While Scholarship Funds are awarded without limitation as to use, in that rare instance that a Scholar is forced to return to the United States at mid-year due to illness, family crisis or other emergency, the Society will expect a refund of the unused portion so that it may be used to fund other scholarships in the future.
- Participating Colleges and Universities
The 30 participating schools, along with the person currently designated as the point of contact for Scholarship applicants at each school, are listed below.
The Society is always willing to consider broadening this list upon the request of any student or administrator at a four-year college or university located within 75 miles of Philadelphia.
- Scholarship Committee Contact Information
All inquiries and completed applications may be addressed to the Scholarship Committee Chair or Vice-Chair:
Craig Douglas Mills, Esq.
50 South 16th Street, Suite 3200
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
Anthony J. Caiazzo, Jr., Esq.
1445 Snyder Avenue
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19145
(215) 465 – 5575
HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION OF THE ST. ANDREW’S SOCIETY OF PHILADELPHIA
AND THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
By John F. McDonald, Jr.
The founding purpose of the St. Andrew’s Society in 1747 was to be of assistance to those immigrant Scots in need. Throughout 269 years, countless individuals and families have benefited from the Society’s generosity.
The 1950’s found the Society providing financial assistance to undergraduate Scottish students at the University of Pennsylvania. At the February 1955 Quarterly Meeting Society President Dr. Douglas Macfarlan reported that $500.00 had been presented to the University of Pennsylvania allowing 2 Scottish students at the school to complete their senior year.
At that same meeting the minutes recorded that “…two most interesting and provocative proposals were made…” The first of these proposals was submitted by Jack V. Scott. He suggested that the Society consider establishing a scholarship for graduate study for an American student of Scottish decent at a Scottish University and that a Scottish student study at an American University. The proposal was prompted by the Society’s continuing support of students here at the University of Pennsylvania.
At the following meeting in May, Dr. Macfarlan appointed a committee chaired by John A. Jarvis to consider establishing a scholarship fund in response to Jack Scott’s proposal.
The scholarship fund received enthusiastic support and it was recommended that in the September meeting’s notice a request be made for a voluntary contribution of $5.00 from each member to establish the fund.
At that meeting the Society’s counselors, Allen Lesley, Esq. and Joseph Wells Henderson, Esq. rendered an opinion that it was not possible for the Society to collect tax deductible funds for a scholarship program. It was their opinion that the Society’s charter did not allow for this type of program and funds which were collected for the scholarship fund, if deposited in the Society’s account, could jeopardize the tax exempt status enjoyed by the Society.
During this period, the Society was discussing whether to support the Scottish Highland Foundation which was seeking to create an American Scottish center in Philadelphia.
The counselors questioned if the scholarship program and the Scottish Highland fund were able to be supported under the provisions of the Society’s Charter.
At the Society’s Annual Meeting in October it was approved that any funds collected in support of the Highland Fund or the Scholarship fund be deposited in an account separate from the Society’s accounts.
In September 1956, Mr. Arthur L. Dewar reported that the Scottish Highland fund was refused tax exempt status by the Treasury Department and a committee appointed by the President upon reviewing the report recommended that the Society cease considering contributions to the Fund. The committee further reported that upon consultation with the counselors, the Society could receive individual contributions to the Scholarship Fund if the said funds were sent to a college or university whose charter permitted acceptance of those funds.
Mr. Dewar stated that the purpose of the scholarship fund was to provide assistance to a junior year student from a Pennsylvania college to attend either the University of St. Andrew or the University of Aberdeen
This was the first specific statement of the scholarship’s purpose and the identification of universities in Scotland.
In response to the scholarship funds being presented to a Pennsylvania college as opposed to the student, the Society’s past President Dr. Norman E. McClure, stated that Ursinus College, of which he was President, was able to accept these funds under terms of the school’s charter.
President Dr. Macfarlan then appointed the Scholarship Committee: Mr. John A. Jarvis, headmaster at Episcopal Academy as chairman, Dr. Norman E. McClure, Dr. Andrew Mutch, Chaplain of the Society, Joseph W. Henderson, Esq., Society Counselor and Mr. Archibald DeB. Johnson, Society Treasurer.
At the 209th Annual Meeting on October 31, 1956, Chairman Jarvis recommended that a scholarship be awarded to a student to study their junior year at the University of St. Andrews. The award was to be $800.00 which would cover the cost of tuition, room board and transatlantic passage. The committee approached Principal Knox of the University of St. Andrews to determine if the University would accept a scholar selected by the Society. A favorable reply being promptly received, the committee proceeded to solicit candidates from area colleges.
The counselors repeated that contributions to the fund would not be tax deductible under terms of the Society’s Charter. While the tax deductible status of contributions was being resolved, John Jarvis suggested that special fund be established at a Philadelphia Bank to receive these funds. This fund to be separate from Society funds.
The counselors believed that the tax deductible status of the funds would be resolved shortly. They hoped that if each member donated $3.00 to the fund, the Society would be able to have “…our personal representative in Scotland next fall (1957)”.
At each subsequent meeting John Jarvis provided a detailed report of the program’s progress. At the same time the counselors, Allen Lesley, Esq. and J. Wells Henderson, Esq. were proceeding with the establishment of a Foundation whose charter would allow for all donations to the fund be tax deductible.
At the beginning of the winter quarterly meeting in February 1957, $465.00 had been collected, well short of the $800.00 required and President Macfarlan requested that those wishing to make additional contributions come forward. At the meeting’s conclusion he reported that the Society had $810.00 in the Scholarship Fund and the committee could proceed with the selection of a scholar.
Immediately after the meeting, seven of the “…best known Universities and Colleges” were requested” “…to nominate a member of their sophomore class for our scholarship…”. The schools being: Ursinus College, Pennsylvania State University, Swarthmore College, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Bucknell University, and Franklin and Marshall College.
He listed the following qualifications:
- An American citizen, preferable of Scottish extraction and from the Philadelphia area.
2. In the first quarter of his class
3. A young man of the finest character who would well represent the Society and his country.
4. A young man active in college affairs and well regarded by his contemporaries
At the quarterly meeting in June of that year, John Jarvis announced the committee’s unanimous choice was William Leigh Godshalk of Ursinus College. He was introduced to the members and robed in the scarlet academic gown of the University of St. Andrews. A resident of Bangor, Pennsylvania, he expressed his appreciation for the scholarship and his hopes of one day becoming a college Professor in English.
Upon returning after his year of study at St. Andrews and graduating in 1959 he attended Harvard University earning his Masters degree and his doctorate degree in 1964. He went on to teach at Tufts University and the College of William and Mary. In 1967 he was named Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Cincinnati, full Professor in 1972 and Department Head in 1979, a post he held until his retirement.
At the September quarterly dinner, as William Gotshalk was preparing to leave for Scotland, John Jarvis asked the members if they desired to send a scholar to Scotland again next year and all members present raised their hands.
Mr. David Maxwell, Esq. at that meeting remarked that through a foundation , contributions to the Scholarship fund would be tax deductible. He then presented a motion which was approved to direct the counselors to proceed with establishing a Foundation to receive donations.
The 210th Annual meeting was held in October 1957 at which time Allen Lesly, Esq. reported on the procedures necessary to establish a Foundation which would be separate and distinct from the Society. He further stated that this undertaking would generate a large legal expense.
Dr. Macfarlan and Mr. Lesley explained that this had been previously investigated and it was the Society’s firm desire not to attempt any changes to the Society’s charter as the current tax exempt status is based on it’s charitable work and “…it would be unwise to open ourselves up to any questioning or inspection”.
President Macfarlan appointed, Messer’s. Ralph S. Crosky, William B. Gold, and Ray Martin Boyd, Esquires, to institute the formation of a Foundation to be known as “The Foundation of the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia”.
The Articles of Incorporation for a non profit corporation having been prepared, the committee immediately made application to the Pennsylvania Department of State for registration of the name.
A Master, James F. McMullen, Esq., a member of the Society, was appointed by the State to review the petition with the purpose of determining if by granting such Charter it would not be injurious to the community and that the stated purposes were lawful and proper.
The Committee Chairman Ralph S. Croskey, Esq. was joined by Messrs John J. Herd, Archibald DeBaun Johnson, the Society Second Vice President, Robert L. Gray, Jr., Richard Sutcliff, Society Secretary and John A. Jarvis in the presentation before the Master on February 25, 1958.
The Master, upon completion of his due-diligence, recommended to the Court of Common Pleas that the Charter be granted and his report affirmed. A filing was then made to the Internal Revenue Service for approval of the Foundation’s tax exempt status.
Mr. Ralph S. Croskey, Esq., at the winter quarterly meeting, February 28, 1958, reported the application for the Foundation was presented to the Master and proposed a detailed resolution to the members to wit that a non-profit corporation be established and be named “The Foundation of the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia” and be registered with the Department of State, Corporation Bureau, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. By unanimous acclamation the motion passed.
Mr, Croskey further reported that there would be no attorney’s fee for this legal work and that the Master Mr. McMullen, Esq. a Society Member, waived all his fees.
Shortly thereafter the IRS determined that the Foundation is exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the code. In addition is was classified as a publicly supported charity under Section 509 (a) (2).
The organizational meeting of the Foundation was held July 21, 1958.
The incorporators present were:
- David Maxwell, Esq.
- John J. Herd
- Archibald DeBaun Johnson
- Robert L. Gray, Jr.
- Richard G. Sutcliff
- Dr. Andrew Mutch D.D.
- Joseph W. Henderson, Jr., Esq.
- Burdett S. Fuller
- Allen Lesley, Esq.
- Garfield G. Duncan
- Donald Macfarlan
At this meeting the above named were elected trustees and the Certificate or Charter of the Corporation was approved. The By-Laws were also presented and adopted.
The following were elected to office:
David Maxwell, Esq. – President
Richard G. Sutcliff – Secretary
Robert L. Gray, Jr. – Treasurer
The Foundation meetings in 1959 and 1960 brought forth lively discussions regarding membership and contributions to the Foundation. Scholars were reporting difficulty with expenses and in the February 1960 meeting it was approved that the award be increased to $1000.00 with distribution of funds to be $200.00 in cash as the scholar departs for Scotland, $600.00 to be sent to the University of St. Andrews covering tuition and other expenses and the final $200.00 to be sent to the scholar upon completion of his first term.
Only those Society members making contribution to the Foundation would be members.
Selection of the scholars was moved to April from May in 1964 and at the June 1964 meeting it was reported that a “most generous gift” from Edward T. Taws and Robert G. Dunlap was received. This donation enabled the Foundation to award two scholarships for 1964-1965. Dale A. Jones from Ursinus College was selected to attend the University of Aberdeen and John K. Smith from the University of Pennsylvania was selected as the scholar to attend the University of St. Andrews.
It was with great sadness that at the 1964 Annual Meeting in October, it was announced that the Society’s beloved Chaplain and Past President Dr. Andrew Mutch, D.D. had died peacefully on October 6. At that meeting it was proposed and unanimously approved that the St. Andrews Society Scholarship be named “The Andrew Mutch Scholarship” beginning with the 1965-66 academic year.
Donations to the Foundation continued and John A. Jarvis, at the June 1968 meeting, announced that Robert Sosin of Temple University had been selected to attend the University of Edinburgh thus adding a third scholarship and school to the scholarship program.
With the awarding of the Andrew Mutch Scholarship to three scholars that year a total of 18 scholarships had been awarded since the program was instituted. However there remained a goal of the scholarship program to be fulfilled, which was to bring a Scottish student to study at a college or university in the United States.
At the fall quarterly meeting in September 1968 it was recommended and approved that the scholarship award for the forthcoming year be increased to $3400.00, Because the British Government increasing the tuition for all foreign students.
At the spring meeting in June 1969, President Irving L.W. Gloninger reported “…the Foundation has just received a very substantial donation from an estate…”. The donors, he stated, wished to remain anonymous. He further stated that the donation “…now makes it possible…to achieve one of its cherished dreams; that of bringing a Scottish student over to this country for one year of study at the University of Pennsylvania.”
Later that year, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. and his brother, Henry, acknowledged that they had established “The Robert Lincoln McNeil Memorial Scholarship Fund of the Foundation of the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia” in memory of their late father, a life member of the Society. They outlined the guidelines for the award, namely, that the scholar be a full time student at the University of St. Andrews, be of Scottish descent, ranked in the first quarter of his class and attend his junior year at the University of Pennsylvania.
John A. Jarvis reported that the University of Pennsylvania would be “…delighted…” to receive a student from the University of St. Andrews. Steven Watson, Principal of St. Andrews, notified the Society that Mr. Campbell Scott had been selected as the first McNeil Scholar and would attend Penn for the 1969-1970 academic year. He proved to be an outstanding scholar, later winning the prestigious Thouron Scholarship returning to Princeton University, earning his Masters degree and being named, in 1976, Assistant Professor of Physics. He presented to the Society a plaque containing the Arms of the University of St. Andrews which is today displayed in the Society’s Library.
The McNeil Scholarship award provided for tuition and fees as well as a monthly stipend for personal expenses. For the 1972-73 year the award was $3908.00.
At the November 1976 meeting, it was reported that several schools declined to offer candidates for the scholarships. The U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare had recently required that both men and women must be considered for scholarships. Since the Foundation Charter states “…awarding scholarships to carefully selected men under 35 years of age from the United States and Scotland…”. The schools were fearful of losing Federal Funds if women could not be eligible for the scholarships. A motion was made at the February 1977 meeting and on approval, the Charter was amended to read”…to carefully selected students under 35 years of age…” That year men and women sat for the scholarship and Cynthia E. Black, geology major from Temple University, was selected as the first female Scholar. She attended the University of Aberdeen for the 1977-78 academic year.
At the February 1979 meeting President V. Adm. Ephraim R. McLean, Jr. reported that the IRS was reviewing the Foundation’s status as a public charity. Specifically they questioned the funding of the Foundation. Under the code a public charity must pass the “one third support test” which requires that no more than one third of its income comes from a “passive” source, ie: stocks and investments. The Trustees and Officers did not wish to lose their public charity status. A private foundation must pay a 10% tax on all scholarships and federal excise taxes are levied on all investment income.
The Foundation treated the McNeil, Mutch and McFarland funds as part of the general assets of the Foundation and as such the investment income generated by these three funds exceeded the “one third support test”. The IRS also required changes to the By-laws.
As a result the three funds were separated and treated in accounting and reporting individually, while all being part of the Foundation.
Also changes were made to the By-laws that it would conform to those requirements of a public foundation.
Thus section 3 – 4 and 7 were changed to conform to the requirements. The changes involved holding the trustees harmless from liability in the proper performance of their volunteer duties and indemnifying the management of affairs of the Foundation. The management of the Foundation as described in Section 7 was changed to read “invested in eleven Trustees”.
A motion to approve the changes was seconded and approved by trustees and David Milne was granted “Power of Attorney” to represent the Foundation before the IRS.
It was later reported that the IRS approved the changes and did not change the public charity status of the Foundation.
Today, when the Treasurer of the Foundation makes his report, each fund within the Foundation is reported individually.
Robert G. Chambers, Esq. Secretary of the Foundation announced at the February 1986 meeting that a new fund had been established through the generosity of Commander George Conrad McFarland. The fund, to be known as the “Commander George Conrad McFarland Scholarship Fund” would allow a fourth scholar to attend the University of Edinburgh. Eric L. Hubner, a second year student at Muhlenberg College was the first McFarland Scholar for the scholastic year 1989-1990. Upon graduating from Muhlenberg he received his Masters Degree in Education from Arcadia University. He is Principal of the A.M. Kulp Elementary School in the North Penn School District in Pennsylvania and a candidate for his Doctorate degree.
In 1990 Michael Dever of Temple University was selected to attend the University of Edinburgh. Mr. Dever was 34 years old and a full time employee of the U.S. Postal Service while attending Temple as a full time student. He was the oldest candidate to sit for the scholarship and he excelled at Edinburgh. Upon the completion of his studies he traveled to France, where he enrolled in Temple’s Study Abroad Program in Paris. Upon completing the summer program in Paris he entered another Temple program in Rome where he completed his senior year. Receiving his degree, he returned to Temple and was appointed to the Office of International Programs. Today he is Director of Finance and Accounting for International Affairs and is responsible for selecting candidates for the St. Andrew’s Scholarships and all study abroad programs.
The University of Glasgow, established in 1450, became the last of the ancient Scottish Universities to receive an Andrew Mutch Scholar. In February 1993, Ms. Skye Laidlaw from Ursinus College was chosen as the first scholar to attend Glasgow. There are now four Mutch Scholarships offered by the Foundation.
Tuition and fees, both in Scotland and at Penn, continued to increase during the ‘70’s and by 1976 the Mutch Scholars were awarded $6000 per year. By 1992, the award was raised to $10,000. In 1993 the tuition and fees at Penn exceeded the McNeil award at $24,000. It was projected that by 1997 the expenses at Penn would exceed $30,000.
In the spring of 1994 James S. Bishop, Jr., Treasurer of the Foundation and John F. McDonald, Jr., Chairman of the Scholarship Committee met with Geoffrey E. Gee, Assistant Director of the Office of International Programs at the University of Pennsylvania to discuss an exchange program between St. Andrews and Penn. Shortly before that meeting, it was found that a previous McNeil Scholar from St. Andrews, upon presenting himself to the Society on his arrival in the States and accepting the scholarship monies, embarked on a “self-guided tour” of the United States for the year and never attended any classes at Penn.
This prompted numerous questions as to why the young man would decamp in this manner. Upon inquiry it was discovered that St. Andrews was not permitting any earned credits to be transferred to the McNeil Scholars’ records at St. Andrews.
Dr. Frank C. Quinault, Assistant Principal at St. Andrews responded to the question by stating, in March 1993 “ the match between what (the scholar) is now studying in America and what he would have studied had he remained here (at St. Andrews) is not close enough for us to give him credit for all his courses at U. Penn, so he will need to treat this as an extra year..”
This comment initiated numerous exchanges between the Society’s President, W. Marshall Schmidt, Dr. Angus Neaves First Vice President and a personal friend of Dr. Quinault, and Dr. Quinault. In June of that year Dr. Quinault reported “… that the McNeil Scholar will, in future, always receive a full year credit at St. Andrews…”
The question of funding the McNeil Scholar at Penn remained unsettled. The scholar was required to personally fund the difference between the tuition and fees and the scholarship award, which by 1998 amounted to $10,000. In early 1998 the Society received notice from St. Andrews that they were unable to name a scholar for the 1998-99 year due to the added expense incurred by the student at Penn. With a one time supplement to the scholarship award, a student for that year was named by St. Andrews.
The renewed discussions with Geoffrey Gee at Penn resulted in Penn establishing an exchange program with St. Andrews in March 1999. This enabled the award (in 1998 $24,000) to be divided between the two scholars. Penn, as was the practice with St. Andrews, would select the McNeil Scholar, following requirements of candidates for the Mutch and McFarland awards.
By 1998, eighteen schools were invited to submit candidates for the four Mutch and one McFarland Scholarships.
The following schools were added to the original seven previously noted : Bryn Mawr College, Dickenson College, Gettysburg College, Haverford College, Juniata College, Lafayette College, Lehigh College, Muhlenberg College, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Villanova University and Widener University.
To this list the following schools were added in 2005: St. Joseph University, Acadia University, Rider University, Albright College, Drexel University, Eastern University, Elizabethtown College, La Salle University, Moravian College, Rosemont College, Washington College and West Chester University.
At the October 1995 quarterly meeting it was announced that William E. Somers III, a life member, indicated his intentions to establish the “William E. Somers III Scholarship Fund”. William Somers died in 1997 and with his estate endowing the Fund, the first Somers Scholar will be named in 2012.
At the Foundations Board meeting in May 1999, it was approved that a post graduate scholarship be awarded for study of the 12 month Master’s Degree program offered at the Universities of Aberdeen, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. The award was $10,000 and the requirements were:
- A United States citizen
- Permanent address within a 75 mile radius of Philadelphia
- Acceptance for the 12 month Masters Program at one of the four Universities
A scholarship was awarded in each of 2001, 2002, 2003. Unfortunately the economy and its effects on the Foundations endowments precluded continuing the Masters Scholarship program beyond the 2003 award.
The Scholarship selection process has changed little in the 54 years of the program. In early fall the 23 colleges and universities are notified of the scholarship program for the coming year and are requested to select their candidate. In early January the schools which have selected scholars are requested to submit the following: a letter of introduction from the Chair of International Studies, letters of recommendation from faculty members, a transcript of the student’s record, an autobiographical sketch and photo of the scholar. Applications from individual scholars are not accepted. Only one student who is recommended by the selected schools is able to sit for the scholarships and they must attend for the complete school year. They must also accept the resident accommodations given them by the school.
The school is notified of the time and place of the selection meeting and the student is requested to present themselves, suitably attired one half hour before the scheduled time.
The Chairman welcomes the students and describes the day’s events. After a brief reception in which the scholars are introduced to committee members, lunch is served. During lunch the Chairman asks each student a question concerning current world or local events.
On completion of lunch the students retire to a waiting room and each, in turn, sits for an interview by the committee. After the interview the Chairman thanks the student and they are free to return to their school.
When all the interviews are completed, the committee is asked to rank the students beginning with their first choice. After which the scores are tabulated and ranked first, second , etc.
Mrs. McFarland and her son George select the McFarland Scholar to attend Edinburgh. The Chairman, who previously obtained a phone contact for each student, calls the four top students asking the first student which school, (Aberdeen, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, or Glasgow), they wish to attend. The second scholar is asked to select one of the remaining three; the third scholar, to choose one of the final two and the fourth scholar is told they have been selected to attend the remaining school.
Seldom do the students fail to get the University of their choosing. One student’s dilemma stands out to me when I chaired the committee in 1998. Ms. Emily Shu from Swarthmore College was asked to select between Aberdeen and St. Andrews. During the interview she indicated Aberdeen as her first choice, however when I called, that evening she stated that she reconsidered and would prefer St. Andrews. The last scholar preferred St. Andrews and with Emily’s choice of Aberdeen everyone would enter the school of their choice. I had expected this process to go smoothly but this presented a challenge. I did not wish to force a school on her so we engaged in much conversation, after which she agreed to attend her first choice, Aberdeen.
Upon arriving at Aberdeen that September she was surprised to learn that her Great-grandfather was the first student from China to attend Aberdeen in the late 1800’s. She was treated as royalty and her year was memorable.
As previously noted, a principal requirement for the scholarship is for the student to be no older than 35 years.
In early January 1995, Ms. Kim Richardson, Director of International Program at Juniata College approached the Chairman of the Scholarship Program asking if the committee would consider a student who was 46 years old. The student, Ms. Karen Boden, a single, working mother of two children, entered Juniata in 1993 fulfilling a “dream I had for 25 years”. Graduating from high school as a National Merit Scholar, she was unable to continue to college due to marriage and financial difficulties. In 1993 as a single parent she obtained financial assistance and matriculated at Juniata. Commuting 30 miles a day from her home, she excelled scholastically and was active in school and community activities.
The Scholarship committee welcomed her as a candidate as she represented all the tenants of the Society, namely “…to be of assistance…” to those in need.
Her poise and self-confidence before the selection committee earned her a scholarship to the University of Aberdeen, her first choice as the school is renowned for its courses in anthropology. On return to Juniata she graduated with honors and earned a Masters Degree at Penn State. She continued her studies in the doctoral program.
She presently is a professor of anthropology at Shippensburg University.
In a recent conversation with John McDonald she related her gratitude to the Society for the scholarship and hopes to return to Aberdeen.
The Chairmen of the Committee have been:
- John A. Jarvis
- Howard Butcher IV
- Henry M. Justi
- Angus Neaves
- John F. McDonald, Jr.
- Edward V. Cattell, Esq.
- David R. Kunz, Esq.
- George C. McFarland, Jr., Esq.
- Bradford Johnson
- Craig D. Mills, Esq.
Since awarding the first scholarship in 1957, two hundred and forty one scholars have benefited from the Scholarship Program. Each fall at the Society’s quarterly meeting the returning scholars are welcomed back from their year of study and they recount their experiences and the effect the year had on their lives.
 See below for the list of participating schools
 Please note, however, that the number of scholarships available may be greater or less than five in any given year, as funds and circumstances allow or require. Nor is the Committee constrained to award any minimum number of scholarships regardless of the merit of a particular pool of candidates. In recent years the Committee has awarded as few as three and as many as seven scholarships to American students in addition to our Scottish Scholar. In 2016, the Committee awarded six U.S. scholarships. The 2017 scholarship application is below:
PAST SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS VIDEO INTERVIEWS