In 1966, Eleanor Harvith Gannon, spokesperson for the Class of 1923, contributed the original $1,000 to endow a “memorial fund” which established the tradition of gifts honoring deceased Eta Pi sisters. The Memorial Fund became the foundation of the Eta Pi Upsilon Endowed Scholarship Fund, which is the largest provider of scholarships to University College. Each year, Eta Pi awards more than 20 scholarships to women who are earning a degree often while working, raising families, or caring for aging family members at the same time. Scholarships are awarded to undergraduates annually based on academic distinction and financial need. Eta Pi Upsilon scholars are recognized at an annual reunion luncheon, where they share moving stories of determination and triumph in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. As more and more alumnae and their guests heard the women’s stories, they increased donations to the scholarship fund, along with generous contributions from Eta Pi alumnae. At the 100th anniversary of Eta Pi’s founding, the board initiated a three-year campaign to add $100,000 to the endowment fund. Members enthusiastically responded, and the number of scholarships awarded annually grew from six in 1996 to eight in 1998 to more than 25 in 2008, thanks to an endowment now valued at more than $1.6 million. To date, University College women have received 345 Eta Pi Upsilon scholarships.
Those of you who have contributed to the scholarship fund have not only benefited needy women, but you have done something wonderful for Eta Pi itself. Because of your gifts, Eta Pi Upsilon has become a champion for women’s education that all Eta Pi sisters can feel a part of and be proud of, whatever the size of their contributions. – Dori Parker ‘55
Awarding of Eta Pi Upsilon Scholarships
During or shortly after the spring term of each year, women demonstrating academic distinction and financial need while studying at UC are invited to apply for Eta Pi scholarships. Each scholarship covers the cost of three to six credits toward Syracuse University courses, to be used in one of the following three semesters. The University College Scholarship Committee selects recipients and a group of Eta Pi Upsilon board members matches recipients with specific scholarships.
How to Contribute
Every gift—large or small—has the potential to make a huge difference in the lives of women trying to improve their lives through education. The fund is currently valued at more than $1.6 million, and this generates enough interest annually to provide over 20 scholarships to UC women each year.
All monies donated to Eta Pi go directly into the Eta Pi Upsilon Endowed Scholarship Fund for students in need. Overhead and administrative costs are covered by annual membership dues, board member donations, and University College.
- A gift honoring a person: as in the case of Pearle Ness Clements at the bequest of her husband Mark Clements. The Clements’ generosity provides five to eight scholarships each year.
- A gift honoring a friendship: as in the case of a tribute to a close 50-year friendship between Mildred Stiles Lapham and her stepdaughter-in-law Joan Bosworth Lapham. The two friends decided to direct Mrs. Lapham’s bequest to Joan by giving this lasting gift to the Eta Pi Scholarship Fund.
- A gift in the form of adding Eta Pi as a beneficiary to a life insurance policy, or turning over a portion of stock. There are significant tax benefits to this type of gift-giving, and they provide a cost-effective way to make a profound difference through Eta Pi when the donor passes on.