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The Horace Smith Fund Awards $382,000 to Area Students

On June 21, The Horace Smith Fund held its 119th Corporators’ Meeting and scholarship awards ceremony in the Carriage House at Storrowton Tavern for recipients, their parents and school counselors, and Corporators.

Wayne Webster, Chair of the Board of Trustees, announced that this year there were 30 Walter S. Barr Scholarship awards, with 25 given to graduating high school seniors and five given to recipients already attending college. The William R. Rooney Award was granted to one candidate who has had special needs. There were also six Walter S. Barr Fellowship recipients. Providing that students maintain at least a B average in college, each scholarship provides a total of $10,000 over four years and each fellowship provides $12,000 over three years.  Therefore, The Horace Smith Fund is pleased to have granted a total award of $382,000 to area students this year.

The Horace Smith Fund was established in 1899 by the successful and generous philanthropist Horace Smith.  He and Daniel Wesson were the founders of Smith & Wesson, located in Springfield.  Smith’s will provided that the residual of his estate, after several bequests to relatives and institutions, was to be used for public purposes at the discretion of his executors. They decided that it should be used to help deserving students finance their education.

The Walter S. Barr Scholarships and Fellowships are named for a West Springfield businessman, whose widow left the bulk of the family estate to The Horace Smith Fund in 1950. The William R. Rooney Award is named for a past Executive Director with a desire to assist special needs students.  All recipients must be residents of Hampden County.

The keynote speaker and dance performance artist was Jessica M. Baker of Southwick, a 2016 graduate of Point Park University and past recipient of the Walter S. Barr Scholarship.

Students were selected on a variety of criteria, including their test scores, class rank, extra-curricular activities, and a personal written account of why the student feels deserving of financial assistance.  Applications for next year’s awards will be available Sept. 15 on-line at www.HoraceSmithFund.org or by calling (413) 739-4222.  

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