The Marlborough Historical Society's Annual History Scholar Award

Updated January 1, 2015: In 2013 we doubled the award amount, expanded the types of projects eligible to include a long list of online media, introduced a proposal stage so that students would get an early decision that required much less work, and increased our outreach to the schools and to local media.

We're evaluating the results of these changes and won't make an award for the 2014 - 2015 school year.  We are examining the effectiveness of the scholarship in encouraging engagement with the schools and ongoing participation by students, as well as other ways in which this time and money might be spent to help achieve the Society's goals of historic preservation, education, and celebration.

Alternatives include investing in preservation, including cataloging and digitization; programming; or, supporting the work of anyone in the community interested in researching and presenting their results.

If you comments or suggestions, please send them to the Scholarship Committee.

Each year the Marlborough Historical Society recognizes a graduating s
enior student as a "History Scholar."  The award is open to all Marlborough residents regardless of the school they attend.

The information below (in light type) is for 2014, which was awarded on April 22, 2014.  More details on this year's winner are near the bottom of the page.  To receive information on the 2015 awards when those details are published, sign up for our newsletter, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

This year the award is $1,000 (thanks to a generous donation), which will be given at graduation.  Projects might involve the creation and distribution of content through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,
WhatWasThere, HistoryPin, Google Maps, Flickr, Scribd, SlideShare, YouTube, or any of the many other ways to make the history of Marlborough available to more people. 

The proposal slides, or a link to them online, are due by midnight, January 20, 2014 and are to be submitted to the scholarship committee by e-mail

Complete details are in the presentation below and questions are answered in the FAQ below
 Any updates will be posted here, on our Facebook page, in our newsletter, and in our Twitter feedContact the scholarship committee if you have questions or suggestions.

We look forward to seeing your proposals.


FAQ for the 2014 History Scholar Award

Q: Do you have to go to college to win?
A: No.  The winner will receive the check at graduation.

Q: Then why is it sometimes called a scholarship?
A:  In the past, the winner had to go to college and received the award only after completing their first year.  

Q: I downloaded the information a few weeks ago--before you made the change.  Now it's different.
A: If you have something prepared or in the works, please submit it as a proposal.  For example, if you were planning to research and write a paper on the Henry Knox Trail, its path through Marlborough, and the marker, simply make that proposal and include how you will, if selected, present that online.  In this case, you might use any combination of tools, from a slide presentation on SlideShare, a document with photos posted on Scribd, a vide posted on YouTube or Vimeo, or any of dozens of other things.

Q: I really just want to write a paper.
A: Go ahead and propose that, and in your proposal how you propose making it available online and raising awareness of it.

Q: It's been $500 in the past.  This year it's $1,000.  Is it going to be $1,000 next year?
A: We don't know, but we hope so.  This year a generous donor came forward and this enabled us to double the award.  We hope people will consider contributing to our scholarship fund for next year.  (For more information on making a donation earmarked for our scholarship fund, contact Janet Licht.)

Q: I have a couple of ideas and I'd like some help narrowing them down.
A: Send us a note now, before project proposals are due by midnight, January 20, and we'll be happy to give you feedback.

Q: What are you looking for in the proposal? 
A: These items . . .
  • What you're planning on creating, which might fall broadly into these categories:
    • Researching and creating (writing, photographing, recording)
    • Compiling and documenting
    • Curating existing content
    • Creating a platform and encouraging others
  • How this is new
  • How it will be effective, including how people will find out about it
  • How it will reach new audiences, including different geographies and possibly languages
  • Whether you have the skills and drive to accomplish what you propose, which will be helped by links to other things you've created and recommendations from others, in addition to the way you've put together your proposal
  • How the project will live on, including being maintained and possibly grow
Q: Does the proposal have to be 10 slides long--and why slides?
A: No, it doesn't have to use all 10 slides.  We chose slides because that format often helps the person drafting it to structure their thoughts and clearly make their case.  It also makes it easier to spot the gaps.  All of which will help you create a better proposal and help us more quickly zero in on the most interesting.

Q: I'm not sure I understand what you're looking for--and I have other questions.
A: Please send them in.  We'll answer them and post the answers here and on Facebook so that others benefit from having the information, too.  (We won't include your name in the online post.)

The history of the annual award for students

The scholarship is given in memory of Dorothy Medill, Claudia McCarty and Frank Valianti, who were founding members of the Society.  Your contributions to the Society, including contributions to the annual scholarship fund, support the Society's ongoing historic preservation, education, and celebration.  Learn more about how you can support the Society here.

Recent recipients are shown below.  A history of the scholarship and list of the winners from 1980 through 2008 is here.

Recent recipients

  • 2014: Jillian Goeliner
Received the first History Scholar Award at the Society's annual meeting on April 22, 2014 (right)
for her interviews with former employees of the Frye Boot Company, which can be viewed in this video.
  • 2013: No award
  • 2012: Andrea Boxell
Awarded at the Society's annual membership meeting on April 24, 2012 for her essay on the history of Marlborough's Labor Day Parade [PDF].
  • 2011: Peter B. Snyder
Peter's essay was on the 1938 hurricane that hit Marlborough.  Peter will be attending John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego where he will be studying video game design.

Pictured (l to r): John Noble and Phyllis Forten Trembley, two of the people Peter interviewed for his essay; Peggy Schwarz Ayres, Society Vice President and chair of the scholarship committee; and, Peter B. Snyder, recipient of the 2011 scholarship.

  • 2009: Kaylin Ossing
Awarded at the Society's annual membership meeting on April 28, 2009. 

Kaylin's essay on the history of shoe manufacturing in Marlborough, Taking a Walk in the Shoes of Marlborough, can be downloaded here [PDF].

In the fall, Kaylin will study criminal justice at Westfield State College.

  • 2008: Devon Blake
Awarded at the Society's annual membership meeting on April 22, 2008. 

Devon will attend Bringham Young University in the fall and plans to study pharmacology.

His essay on Bartlett Park:

As I raked mulch and pulled the weeds at this virtually unknown rundown “park," I wondered why my employer, Don Bishop, would spend histime and effort keeping it clean.  After all, no one seemed to care anyway. I had never even heard of Bartlett Park before. 

As the owner of Gardens Are… an organic landscaping company, why was he the one to take care of it?  Why did he volunteer to keep this “park” clean? When I asked him, his response is simple: “I’m doing my part to preserve the rich history of Marlborough.”  
[Download and read Devon's entire essay here.]
  • 2007:  Lindsey Cunningham
The award was made at the annual membership meeting.  Lindsey enrolled in Endicott College.  A picture of the award being given to Lindsey is here.
  • 2006: Andrew Harvey wrote about the Marlborough Country Club and went on to attend Syracuse University.  A picture of the award being given to Andrew is here.
  • 2005: Ryan Walsh was awarded the scholarship at the annual meeting and attended Providence College.  A picture of the award being made to Ryan is here.

Earlier recipients

The Historical Society has awarded scholarships over a long period.  For example, the July and August 1990 newsletter reports that . . .

". . . the 1990 winner of the Dorothy Medill Memorial Scholarship is Debbie Gluszczak.  Miss Gluszczak presented a sketch on the major happenings in Marlborough from 1888 to 1904 as would be seen in her first sixteen years by Debbie's great-grandmother, Regina Labrossiere.  Although her college choice isn't known at this time, Miss Gluszczak has an interest in speech pathology/audiology.  Our best wishes to her in the coming year."

A history of the scholarship with a list of the winners from 1980 through 2008 is here.