McDaniel College Meets Half-Million-Dollar Challenge Grant to Institute France-Merrick Scholars Program

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Matching Grant from the France-Merrick Foundation Funds Scholarships for Financially Deserving Students from Baltimore City

This initiative supports one of the college’s top priorities—keeping a McDaniel education accessible and affordable for all deserving students.

McDaniel College has met a half-million-dollar France-Merrick Foundation challenge grant to fund scholarships for financially deserving students from Baltimore City.

The France-Merrick Foundation awarded the college a $500,000 challenge grant to institute the France-Merrick Scholars Program, which gives preference to students who expect to earn a teaching certification in elementary or secondary education. McDaniel is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and offers minors in elementary, secondary, and Pre-K – 12 education.

A number of individual, corporate, and foundation contributions have met the France-Merrick Foundation challenge, including two recent gifts totaling $62,000, which have enabled McDaniel to meet the challenge two years prior to the deadline.

The first France-Merrick Scholars are expected to begin their studies at McDaniel in Fall 2012. Additional criteria for awarding the scholarships are yet to be determined.

According to Dr. Roger Casey, president of McDaniel College, “This initiative supports one of the college’s top priorities—keeping a McDaniel education accessible and affordable for all deserving students. With 90 percent of our first-year students receiving merit and/or need-based financial aid, and 40 percent of our current freshman class among the first generation in their families to attend college, programs like the France-Merrick Scholars will only help us continue to attract the best and brightest students regardless of their financial circumstances.”

Florence Hines, vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions, added, “This year, we had a record number of applicants, with an unprecedented number of students of color seeking admission to the college. This is due in part to the partnerships we have forged with community-based organizations, such as Baltimore’s CollegeBound and Cristo Ray Jesuit High School. These programs provide awareness and the opportunity for students to consider an institution like McDaniel.”

In addition to the France-Merrick Scholars program, financial assistance to students from Baltimore City is provided through the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Received byMcDaniel in 2009, this $200,000 gift over five years has been awarded to five students from Baltimore City each year with $8,000 scholarships to the college. The third group of five students are freshmen at McDaniel this fall. (The Jessie Ball duPont Fund has been supporting the college since 1988 and provided funding in 2006 to establish McDaniel’s Center for Study of Aging.)

McDaniel was initially awarded the challenge grant from the France-Merrick Foundation in May 2008 as part of the college’s Carpe Diem Campaign. Spearheaded by former McDaniel president Joan Develin Coley, the campaign, which ended December 2009, raised $77 million to support the college’s residential learning-living community.

The France-Merrick Foundation supports civic and cultural activities, public education, private higher education, historic preservation and conservation, and health and social services. Since 1963, France-Merrick has awarded the college more than a million dollars, primarily for academic building projects, including Eaton Hall of Science dedicated in 1999.

For more information about McDaniel College, visit or call 410-857-2290.

McDaniel College, recognized nationally among “40 Colleges that Change Lives” and U.S. News top-tier liberal arts colleges, is a four-year private college of the liberal arts and sciences offering more than 60 undergraduate programs of study, including dual and student-designed majors, plus 20 highly regarded graduate programs. Its hallmark faculty-student collaborations in research,teaching and mentoring plus hundreds of leadership and service opportunities enrich a lively learning experience that is rooted in a personalized interdisciplinary and global curriculum. Innovative January courses take students to points all over the world while McDaniel’s degree-granting European campus offers a unique opportunity for international study at the only American university in Budapest, Hungary. A diverse and close-knit community of 1,600 undergraduates and 1,560 part-time graduate students, McDaniel also boasts a spectacular 160-acre hilltop campus in Westminster, Md., an hour or less from Baltimore, D.C., the Chesapeake Bay, an Amtrak station and BWI international airport.


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Cheryl Knauer
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