Winthrop Crane Fund for Graduate Student Aid

Scholarship Guidelines


Graduates of Wahconah Regional High School or a vocational-technical program of a public high school who are enrolled in or planning to enroll in post graduate studies at an accredited college or university for post-graduate studies.


Winthrop Murray Crane, Jr. (1881-1968) was a great grandson of Zenas Crane, founder of Crane & Co. Immediately after his graduation from Yale College in 1909, and serving in the Army in W.W. I, attaining the rank of Lt. Col., he began working in the family paper mills. He rose to the position of President in 1923 and successfully navigated the company through the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the material and manpower shortages of W.W. II and the technological explosion of the immediate postwar years. He retired as President in 1951, at which time he was elected to the newly-created position of Chairman of the Board. He remained in that post until his death in 1968.

Mr. Crane served on the boards of directors of several companies in the Berkshires and the Northeast. He was a supporter and benefactor of many organizations in the Berkshires and his town of Dalton. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield.

In 1965 he established a Fund for the purpose of aiding students in the pursuit of graduate education after graduating from Wahconah Regional High School and an accredited 4 year college. Subsequently this Fund was augmented by gifts from his children, Barbara Crane Monaghan and Winthrop Murray Crane III.

In 2008, the fund became a constituent fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

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:

  • Have resided in one of the seven towns of the Central Berkshire Regional School District* at the time of graduation from high school. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis for Wahconah students who did not reside within the school district at the time of graduation.
  • Be enrolled or planning to enroll in an accredited college or university for post-graduate studies.
  • Have graduated from Wahconah Regional High School or a vocational-technical program of a public high school.
  • *Central Berkshire Regional School District comprises Becket, Cummington, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington and Windsor.


The number of awards in any year depends upon the amount of funding available and the number and quality of scholarship applicants. In recent years, awards have ranged from $1,000 - $2,000. Additional awards may be given as funding allows. Scholarship recipients may reapply for funding throughout their college career provided they continue to meet the scholarship criteria. For scholarship assistance for undergraduate studies, see the Zenas Crane Fund for Student Aid guidelines.


The committee will review requests for scholarships according to the purpose of the fund using the following criteria:

  • Financial need (40%)
  • The student’s efforts and ambitions to achieve his/her academic and life goals (25%)
  • Academic achievement (35%)

The scholarship applications are 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.