Ds Scholarship

Peabody Historical Society looking to award 30th annual scholarship

The Peabody Historical Society offers its annual scholarship to college-aged students from the city.

PEABODY – For the 30th time since 1992, the Peabody Historical Society and Museum has opened the application period for the annual George and Rachel Shaw Scholarship aimed at helping loyal college-aged citizens.

The scholarship is funded by Sylvia and Ralph Marple and is worth $3,000.

“We always get excellent applications,” said Nora Bigelow, associate curator at the Historical Society.

Bigelow said the recipients have always been those who take great pride in being a Peabody.

“The thread I see with successful candidates is genuine involvement in the local community — whether they spent the summer working at Treadwell’s Ice Cream or as a camp consultant at Brooksby Farm,” Bigelow said. “It’s their academic excellence but also their desire to present their talents to local organizations.”

In the recent past, the scholarship has been awarded to individuals with an academic focus in graphic design, special education, health sciences, environmental and biochemical engineering and many more, Bigelow said.

To apply, individuals must be residents of Peabody, be a full-time undergraduate, hold at least 12 credits per semester and be in their second year of college or beyond. The recipient is chosen anonymously, as a committee made up of board members reviews the anonymous applications.

Bigelow said the scholarship is focused on someone who has completed their first year of college because there are far fewer scholarships available after high school students enter college. That additional payment is supposed to be financially to get a student through a 4-year degree program.

Funds may be spent at the winner’s discretion on any educational purposes.

The scholarship was established 30 years ago in May 1992 to honor Sylvia Marple’s parents, who were raised in Peabody and were the offspring of two notable families – the Feltons and Fosters. The Felton family were among the first English settlers of the Broxby farm area, who spoke up bravely in defense of John Proctor during the Salem witch trials.

General Gideon Foster led the militiamen into the First Battle of the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord. Two of the Felton family homes and the Foster House are historic properties maintained by the Historical Society.

Marple contacted the Historical Society in 1992 while researching her ancestors. After correspondent with the late Barbara Doucet, board member, active volunteer, and historian, Marple decided to start the George and Rachel Shaw Scholarship.

Originally, the scholarship was for $1,000 but over the years the amount has increased to $3,000.

Typically notified during the first or second week of May, the scholarship recipient joins the Smith Barn Historical Society Membership Dinner. Bigelow said it’s hard to know if the dinner will be canceled this year due to COVID-19.

The application form can be downloaded from the Historical Society’s website. Submissions are due on Saturday, March 26, 2022.

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