Coolidge Foundation Announces Inaugural Recipients of the Full-Ride “Coolidge Scholarship” for Academic Merit

June 16, 2016

PLYMOUTH NOTCH, Vt., June 16, 2016 — The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation is pleased to announce the names of the three students selected as the inaugural recipients of the Coolidge Scholarship. The Coolidge Scholarship is among the most generous scholarships in America. This full-ride, non-partisan merit award covers a student’s tuition, room and board for four years of undergraduate study. Unlike many other full-ride scholarships, the Coolidge Scholarship may be used by recipients at any accredited college or university in the United States.

The Coolidge Scholarship was established by the Coolidge Foundation to honor America’s thirtieth president and to elevate the values for which President Coolidge stood. Amity Shlaes, Coolidge biographer and Coolidge Foundation chairman said, “Coolidge is a president little-known by many Americans today. But his example of principled, civil leadership is a model that could guide our country. The Coolidge Foundation is proud to establish this scholarship to honor Coolidge and his legacy.”

The main criterion that distinguishes Coolidge Scholars is academic merit. Students must also demonstrate a keen interest in public policy, an appreciation for the values Coolidge championed, humility and leadership potential.

More than 2,350 students from 48 different states applied for the Coolidge Scholarship in this inaugural year. Matthew Denhart, Coolidge Foundation executive director, remarked, “We are pleased by the student response. Not only did a large number of students apply, but the applicant pool was of the highest quality imaginable.”

Coolidge Scholars are chosen in a multi-stage process. Students must apply for the Coolidge Scholarship during their junior year of high school. All applicants are reviewed by the Coolidge Foundation. The most promising candidates are reviewed by semifinalist juries which meet to consider applicants and select finalists. Ten finalists are flown in for a finalist weekend at the Coolidge Historic Site in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. During finalist weekend the candidates are interviewed by the Coolidge Scholars Finalist Jury, chaired by Dr. Bruce Cole, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Speaking on behalf of the finalist jury, Dr. Cole said:  “Merit and the pursuit of excellence are the hallmarks of the Coolidge Scholarship. This year’s inaugural class is an inspiring example of dedication, purpose, and achievement. It was an honor to chair the jury which selected these brilliant, promising, leaders of the future.”

Distinguished members of the finalist jury include:

Mr. John W. Childs
Mr. Richard L. Chilton, Jr.
Dr. Bruce Cole, Jury Chairman
Gov. Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
Gov. James H. Douglas
Ambassador C. Boyden Gray
Gov. Bobby Jindal
Judge Edith Jones
Professor Wilfred McClay
Hon. Kurt Schmoke
Miss Amity Shlaes
Mr. Milton G. Valera
Hon. J.C. Watts

Members of the inaugural class of Coolidge Scholars include:

Miss Regan Brady, Shaker Heights, Ohio
Mr. Joshua Moriarty, New York, New York
Mr. Samuel Reddick, Bartlett, Tennessee

This new scholarship program builds upon the Coolidge Foundation’s longtime efforts in the areas of high school debate and scholarship support for students. Each summer the Coolidge Foundation’s well-regarded debate program attracts hundreds of high schoolers who come to Plymouth Notch to engage in civil debate on important policy issues in economics.

More information about the Coolidge Scholars Program is available at


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