In 1983, a small group of concerned citizens from the town of Walpole established the Walpole Scholarship Foundation (WSF) for the purpose of providing financial assistance to deserving Walpole students who wish to continue their education beyond high school. Fueled by their vision, a community-driven effort began to assist and encourage residents of Walpole to obtain post-high school cultural, vocational or professional education. The founding members of this organization include Kenneth Arthur, Lester Burch, Patricia Foley, Mark Hoffman, Elizabeth Lee, James Manninen, and Edward Turley.
In 1984, six scholarships were awarded to six students. In 2017, 120 students received funds totaling $200,000. To date, the Foundation has awarded over 2,800 scholarships totaling over $3,600,000. The Foundation is overseen by an all-volunteer, Board of Trustees whose job is to raise funds and disperse the scholarships.
The WSF’s ability to award this many scholarships is realized by the continual fundraising and receipt of gifts from individuals, businesses, and organizations. The donated funds are invested and the income derived is used to fund awarding of scholarship monies. One of the foundation’s major fundraising activities is the Cornhole4College tournament presented by the Walpole Co-op Bank.
Any Walpole resident applying to or currently attending a post-high school institution that offers an advanced course of study may apply for a scholarship. This includes four-year bachelor's degree programs, associate degree programs, and technical certificate programs. Students applying for or in graduate school are not eligible.
Financial need, academic merit, extracurricular activities (including community service and work experience) and personal qualities are all considerations in awarding scholarships. The selection of the winners is overseen by the Board of Trustees but is determined by an independent ad-hoc group of community members representing all geographical sections of Walpole.
The online application is opened in December of each year and can be accessed directly from the Foundation’s web site. The deadline for applications is February. Decisions and notifications are made by the beginning of June of each year and the checks are awarded in December of each year.
Michael McGrath, President
Ann Walsh, President Elect
Jeff Deleo, Treasurer
BJ Burke, Financial Secretary