The Scottish Rite Scholarship Foundation of Washington


The Scottish Rite Foundation of Washington, now known as the Scottish Rite Scholarship Foundation of Washington, was formed in 1958 as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Washington. Its purpose was to solicit funds and to grant graduate fellowships for a Masters Degree in the School of Government at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Foundation prospered, due to the enthusiasm and financialsupport of Scottish Rite Masons throughout the State of Washington.

When the Foundation was established, the first fellowship grant was for $1,800.00. This was financed by a twenty-cent per capita levy on all of the Scottish Rite members in the state. The funds collected were placed into an endowment account and invested. Additionally contributions increased the fund, and in 1968 an undergraduate scholarship program was inaugurated. The small levy was discontinued and the Foundation began to rely entirely upon charitable gifts to enlarge its endowment.

The Foundation now awards scholarships to 3rd, 4th & 5thyear undergraduate students at colleges and universities in Washington State. These scholarships are generally valued at $1,000.00. Top scoring applicants may receive a $1,500.00 scholarship. There are also three special awards; the Barr and the Rinderhagen scholars receive $2,000.00 awards, the Woodburn Scholars receive $1,500 awards (these special awards cannot be solicited). Renewal awards are in the amount of $1,000.00 Graduate fellowships are valued at $5,000.00 and are awarded to graduate students enrolled in a Master in Public Administration (Affairs) program at colleges and universities in Washington State, known as Shelton Fellows.

Additionally, Blankinship Fellowships, $5,000.00, are awarded to graduate students matriculated in a program leading to a Masters Degree in Speech Language Disorders/Pathology. The George Washington University (GWU) Fellowship has continued. This Fellowship is for $10,000.00, which is matched in like amount by GWU.

A Board of Directors consisting of one Director representing each of the Fourteen Valleys (geographic areas) in the Orient (state) governs the Foundation. The Directors are elected by their respective Valleys and, in turn, elect the President, Vice-President, Vice-President (Finance), Secretary, Treasurer and other officers of the Foundation. The Foundation meets annually at a time and place as determined by the Board, at which time the business of the Foundation is transacted, the amount of money available for scholarships is determined, and the recipients of the scholarships are selected.

In 2003, the Scottish Rite Scholarship Foundation of Washington awarded more than $200,000.00 in scholarships and fellowships. Over the past 5 years the Foundation has awarded ONE MILLION FIFTY FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS ($1,054.000.00). The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is proud to sponsor a scholarship program.

In the words of Illustrious Merlin F. Smith, 33°, President of the Foundation, “Education, the foundation of America. We, as Scottish Rite Masons, are supporting and investing in future generations through education.”

Illustrious William R. Miller, 33°, Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Washington puts it this way, “Learning is a lifetime experience. Scottish Rite Scholarships enable and encourage that experience.”