A Rich History of Helping Newtown's Youth
The Newtown Scholarship Association (NSA) was established in 1937 as a nonprofit organization to promote and advance the education of secondary school graduates residing in Newtown, CT. It attained 501(c)3 tax exempt status in September 1963.
Since its founding, the mission of the NSA has been to help close the gap between tuition costs and what a student can afford to pay, ensuring that all students—regardless of financial circumstances—can attain a higher education. To date, the organization has awarded over $4 million in scholarships to more than 3,000 students.
The NSA is staffed by an all-volunteer board of governors. Members of the board are responsible for fundraising activities (from an annual golf outing to a major fund drive), financial management and reporting, awards distribution and management, community outreach, publicity, and much more.
Donors may contribute to any of a number of Honorary, Named, and Memorial Scholarships, or to the General Scholarship Fund. Student awards are distributed from those scholarships. In addition, donors may establish awards (for more information, see WAYS TO DONATE).
Over the years, the NSA has supported students attending Ivy League universities and art institutes, small colleges and trade schools. And scholarship recipients have gone on to careers in countless fields, including education, medicine, the arts, food and hospitality, engineering, and public service. How do we know? Because many scholarship recipients later return the favor—donating both time and money to the organization that helped them on the path to success.
Today, in the face of soaring college costs, the NSA is more committed than ever to ensuring that a higher education is within reach for all students. Their futures depend on it—and so does ours.
“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” —John F. Kennedy
- September 13th: The Newtown Scholarship Fund Association is established.
- Baird Hall presents the first constitution, stating that the purpose of the NSFA is "to raise funds, by contributions or other means, to enable it to pay an annual award or awards to one or more graduating students of Hawley High School . . . who combines needs of assistance with promise of achievement in further educational work."
- Reverand William Wright, rector of Trinity Church, is elected president. Mrs. Charles Goodsell is elected vice president.
- June 24th: An award of $60 is established.
- First Board of Governors includes Reverend Wright, Mrs. Goodsell, Baird Hall, Paul Cullens, Mrs. Robert Adams, Mrs. Jerome Jackson, Mortimer Smith, Miss Kate Reynolds, and H. Carleton Hubbell.
- First scholarship of $50 awarded to Lucille Williams to attend the State Teachers' College, Danbury.
- $50 scholarship is awarded to Grayce Sherman to attend Barnard College.
- Scholarships of $50 each are awarded to Priscilla Carmody, Evelyn Sherard, Marjorie Johnson, Alice Morgan, and Dorothy Grinn.
- Mrs. Paul Smith and Mrs. Robert A. Reynolds are elected to the Board.
- A fundraising campaign, prepared by Mortimer Smith, gets a "prompt and generous response."
- Award of $100 is given to Mary Harasymczek to attend the University of Connecticut.
- Revised NSFA Constitution is adopted. Scholarship Fund totals $756.25.
- New Board members introduced at the annual meeting: S. Wirt Wiley, George Trull, and Carl LeGrow.
- Board awards $100 scholarships to three applicants: Gloria Rasmussen, Wilma Rahikka, and Nancy Baxter.
- New Board members include Mrs. Paul E. Kovacs, John Holian, Mrs. Frank A. McGregor, Mrs. Alice Carroll, Miss Katherine Kirby, and Mrs. Felix Baridon.
- Successful fund drive received contributions from, among others, Amaral's Service Station, Mrs. Paul Buckley, Mr. and Mrs. Allen Northey Jones, Women's Federation of the Newtown Congregational Church, Newtown Lion's Club, Newtown PTA, and Newtown High School Class of 1949.
- Scholarships totaling $450 are awarded to Robert David Eaton, John Donath James, Michael Keough, Mary Pat Carroll, and Franklin Miller. The Awards Fund total balance: $1,158.39.
- Proceeds from movie-night fundraiser are used to establish a memorial fund in the name of Mary E. Hawley.
- Annual Fund Drive nets $1,932.98.
- Betty Lou Osborne is appointed to the Board of Governors on April 10th.
- Betty Lou Osborne and Constance Herring chair the first Scholarship Ball, held in October at the Town Hall Gymnasium, raising $1,650.
- Newtown Scholarship Association, Inc. is incorporated. At the NSA's first meeting, Betty Lou Osborne is elected vice president.
- Following the resignation of Dorothea Barker, Betty Lou Osborne is named president.
- By its 30th anniversary, the NSA has awarded scholarships totaling more than $40,000 to 150 Newtown high school graduates. Annual awards total nearly $5,000.
- The NSA holds its Saturnalia Ball at the new Newtown High School.
- Betty Lou Osborne resigns as president to focus her attention on the Awards Committee and to lead fundraising efforts.
- The NSA establishes two new scholarships: the Thomas P. Mularcik Memorial Fund and the Robert Y. Brown Memorial Fund.
- Donald T. Studley, CPA, starts a permanent record of the NSA's financial affairs.
- NSA receives a legacy award of $87,500 from the estate of John B. Farwell.
- The NSA awards its first four-year scholarship.
- Record number of 48 scholarships recipients receive a total of $31,147.
- A $5,000 bequest is given from the estate of Carl A. LeGrow; Rebecca Van Syckle Memorial is established.
- Judge William Lavery is elected to the Board of Governors
- Scholarship award is established in the name of Alice Carroll in appreciation for her 50 years of service.
- Election of three new board members: Nancy Dudley, James Morley, and Dunham Smith.
- William Lavery is nominated to chair the Fundraising Committee.
- The Annual Ball is held at the Harrison Inn, Southbury, with music provided by the Peter Duchin Orchestra.
- First annual NSA Golf Tournament is established by Judge William Lavery.
- Following the 9/11 tragedy, the NSA Annual Ball is cancelled. President Stephanie Gaston sends a letter to the community explaining the decision. In response, NSA receives over $15,000 in donations -- showing the resilience and generosity of our Newtown family.
- Awards committee interviews a record number of applicants; scholarships totaling $210,500 are awarded to 73 recipients.
- The NSA holds its first annual Harvest Wine Tasting at Rock Ridge Country Club.
- In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the NSA participates in the Labor Day Parade. Wearing a cap and gown, president Julie Savino leads the birthday cake float.
- In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the NSA throws a Gala, honoring Betty Lou Oborne and the Honorable William Lavery, for their dedication and service to the organization.
- Patrick Kelley and Rebecca Osborne elected to Board of Governors. Rebecca a third generation Board member!