This month is the 100th anniversary of the Daly scholarship. It was a hundred years ago in June of 1922, when the Daly Fund trustees met in Lakeview to select the first scholarship recipients. It was a big deal then and it still is.
It’s hard to overstate the uniqueness of the Daly scholarship. Daly’s vision that not less than fifteen students would have all their expenses provided for four years of college was unusual. There was no scholarship like that in Oregon or perhaps the entire country.
To get a sense of just how extraordinary it was, the 1922-23 University of Oregon catalog identified only two scholarship funds available to students. One was the new Daly scholarship that would provide full funding each year for four years to at least fifteen students from Lake County. The other was the Mary Spiller scholarship, which covered room and board for one student for one year. The predominant type of student aid at the University of Oregon and all other colleges at the time was interest-free loans. In that same year, twelve loan funds were available at the University of Oregon, none of which provided full funding for all four years. The Daly Fund was unique.
Since then, there have been more than 2,000 Daly scholarship recipients, and the evidence of the scholarship’s impact is stunning. It is a remarkable success story that has been hiding in plain sight in remote Lake County for a hundred years. With the publication of “Bernard Daly’s Promise” by OSU Press (in collaboration with the Dr. Daly Project), I’m hoping many more people will learn about Bernard Daly and the impact of his scholarship.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary, there will be a special celebration in Lakeview June 24th and 25th. I’ll be at the Lake County Library on the 24th from 4:00 – 5:00 and then at the Elks Lodge where I’ll give a talk about the book following the 100-year celebration dinner. Dinner tickets and information is available at the Lake County Chamber of Commerce. Hope to see you there.