DelVal receives a $74,000 grant for scholarships

Nov 17, 2014

Michelle Montgomery, W.W. Smith Charitable Trust grant administrator shakes hands with Donna Carlson '15, a W.W. Smith Scholar from Delaware Valley College.

Credit: Delaware Valley College. Michelle Montgomery, W.W. Smith Charitable Trust grant administrator, shakes hands with Donna Carlson '15, a W.W. Smith Scholar from Delaware Valley College.

For Donna Carlson ’15 college meant a new beginning and chance to use her gifts to help others. Carlson worked as an emergency room nurse before she was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer that left her partially blind. She is now back in school studying business at Delaware Valley College and is already using her education to make a positive impact. This holiday season, she’s helping to host Giving Tuesday, an event, which will raise money for more than 90 area nonprofits. Carlson is just one of the students receiving a scholarship because of the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust’s generous annual support.

The W.W. Smith Charitable Trust awarded Delaware Valley College a $74,000 grant for student scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year. The College awards the scholarships – ranging from $2,000 to $7,000– to full-time undergraduate students in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and demonstrated financial need. Recipients must also be permanent Pennsylvania residents from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery or Philadelphia counties or, be from Camden, New Jersey. The W.W. Smith Charitable Trust has supported DelVal since 1979 and has made gifts to DelVal totaling $1,730,500.

“I read about Mr. Smith and I found him to be such an interesting guy, he looked for people who needed a leg up and a chance and really invested in education,” said Carlson. “It is huge to help a student. Affording to come to school can be very daunting and this kind of support and the opportunity to put it toward college is a great gift. Helping to bring Giving Tuesday to campus is my way of paying it forward.”

Every other year, Michelle Montgomery, a grant administrator from the Trust, visits campus to have lunch with the scholars to learn directly from them about their challenges and aspirations. This year, she encouraged them to use their DelVal degrees to give back.

“The W.W. Smith Charitable Trust has made a remarkable commitment to education,” said College President Dr. Joseph Brosnan. “Scholarships are one of the most important gifts for institutions as we work to help keep higher education affordable. The Trust’s $20,000 increase in support is great news for our students and it shows how much the Trust believes in them. It is an investment not only in these students, but in all the good work they will go on to do.”

Based in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, The W. W. Smith Charitable Trust is a private foundation established through the will of William Wikoff Smith. The Trust is specifically focused on areas involving basic needs for food, clothing and shelter; supplementing higher education scholarship programs; and basic medical research primarily in heart disease, cancer and AIDS. From July 2013 to June 2014, the Trust provided more than $1.6 million to support medical research, more than $2.4 million to support scholarships at area colleges and universities, and more than $2 million in food, clothing and shelter grants for organizations that help people in need in the local area.