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 Coolidgescholars.org.

###

Coolidge Blog

When Life Strikes the President

“It costs a great deal to be president,” President Calvin Coolidge remarked when he reflected on the March 1926 death of his elderly father. In writing those words Coolidge spoke for all his predecessors, as well as presidents who came after him. Every president has dealt with tragedies and personal challenges during their tenure in the White House. Now an impressive assemblage of presidential historians have joined together to examine those challenges in the recently released book When Life Strikes the President: Scandal, Death, and Illness in the White House.

Coolidge Debate Goes to Dallas

The Coolidge Foundation’s second annual Dallas Debate Tournament was held on Saturday, 15 April at Southern Methodist University. Local debate students, and students from as far away as Houston, came together to debate the resolution “A significant tariff on imported goods from Mexico is a good policy for the U.S. economy.” More than 30 students spent the day debating this very timely issue.

Remembering the Great War

April 6th marks the Centenary of America’s entry into the Great War, as World War I was call back then.

Some of our anniversaries are more significant than others. This Great War anniversary is most definitely one that warrants public recognition and solemn commemoration. And it is especially meaningful for those of us born in the last century.

Why? The war was a mighty engine of destruction and change. The old order of things was consumed by it, with a new order taking its place. The war, no doubt, became the greatest historical force shaping the 20th Century. For example, in its wake, the United States would rise to the status of a major world power. In far off Russia, the Czarist regime would be replaced the Soviet Union, which would attempt through force and subterfuge to impose its communist ideology on the world. In the Middle East, the consequences of the break up of the Ottoman Empire into small, artificial states still haunt us to this day.

The Pilgrim’s Faith: Coolidge and Religion

If one crosses New England’s valleys and hills one will inevitably encounter ubiquitous clapboard Congregational meetinghouses. These places of worship crown the town greens of villages throughout the region. Their faith, the faith of the Puritan pilgrims, is a foundational element of the American ethos. Theirs is the faith of the first Thanksgiving, of Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” of the Salem witch trials, and of the heart and soul of the First Amendment: the freedom of religion (though most of the early Puritans came to the shores British North America seeking religious freedom for themselves, not for others). Puritan Congregationalism has shaped the contours of American civic and religious life for hundreds of years.