Grant Guidelines: Zenas Crane Fund for Student Aid — High School Seniors
The Crane Family of Dalton has been operating Crane & Co. Inc. in manufacturing fine paper since its founding in 1801. Zenas Crane (1840-1917), grandson of the founder Zenas Crane, was actively involved in its management. Kindly and genial in nature, Mr. Crane was generous and greatly respected in Berkshire County and beyond. In 1900 he founded the Pittsfield Boys’ Club (now the Boys’ and Girls’ Club). In 1903 he founded the Berkshire Museum and purchased much of its original contents. Among other beneficiaries of his philanthropy were organizations in his town of Dalton as well as colleges throughout the United States. In 1909 he was the main backer of Admiral Robert E. Peary’s expedition to discover the North Pole.
In 1926 the Zenas Crane Fund for Student Aid was established as a permanent memorial to him by his wife, Ellen Kittredge Crane and their three children; Frances Crane Colt, Zenas Marshall Crane and Charles Kittredge Crane. As stated in the original articles of organization, the income from the Fund is to be used “for the purpose of aiding worthy boys and girls in obtaining a higher education and to allot the said income primarily to students residing in Dalton and to the residents of neighboring small towns who shall be graduates of Dalton High School (now Wahconah Regional High School)”.
Since 1926, the Fund has been managed and scholarships awarded by a local Board of Trustees. In 2008, the fund became a constituent fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. The scholarship applications are reviewed by the Zenas Crane Fund for Student Aid Committee.
The Zenas Crane Fund for Student Aid was established in 1926 by the Crane family to support the higher education of worthy students residing in Dalton and neighboring towns. Since that time, the fund has helped thousands of students pursue their educational goals.
In establishing the fund, the trustees noted: “The students must be so situated as to need financial assistance. General character and all around ability as against scholarship alone shall be the basis of award. It must clearly appear that the education sought will advantage the student.”
Applicants must be:
Berkshire Taconic does not support organizations which in their constitution, by-laws, or practice, discriminate against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief.
The Fund awards scholarships of a minimum of $1,000 annually. The number of awards in any year depends upon the amount of funding available and the number and quality of scholarship applicants. The primary focus of the Fund is graduating high school seniors. As funding allows, scholarship awards may also be made to applicants who graduated within the last five years. The fund may also provide continued scholarship support to existing Crane scholars throughout college. A separate application process is available for Crane scholars who wish to renew their scholarship. For scholarship assistance for graduate studies, please see the Winthrop Crane Fund guidelines.
Applicants will be informed of Berkshire Taconic’s decision within two months of the deadline date.
The committee will review requests for scholarships according to the purpose of the fund using the following criteria:
Applications will be reviewed by the Zenas Crane Fund for Student Aid Committee. This is a committee of residents of the Central Berkshire Regional School District who are active in community affairs. Their recommendations will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic’s Board of Directors.
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