Celebrating Scholarship

Since McDonogh’s founding in 1873 as a farm school for poor boys, scholarship has remained at the core of the school’s mission. With the support of generous benefactors, thousands of deserving students have attended McDonogh over the years—students who without scholarship funding would not have had the life-changing experience of a McDonogh education—students whose contributions enhance the experience for everyone in our diverse and talented community.

On April 9, more than 150 Upper School scholarship recipients and nearly as many donors and mentors gathered in Paterakis Hall for the annual Scholarship Luncheon to celebrate and recognize McDonogh’s commitment to this time-honored program.

In his welcoming remarks, Headmaster Charlie Britton reminded guests of the history of scholarship at McDonogh. He said, “Until 1926, all students received full scholarships. The whole notion of the school was predicated upon giving students the opportunity to attend McDonogh so that they could have the chance to live a life that before coming to this school could have only been dreamed of.”

As is tradition, a current scholarship student and a former scholarship recipient shared how attending McDonogh has impacted their lives.

Alumni speaker Louis Hyman ’95, a tenured professor at Cornell University and the author of numerous articles and several well-known books including Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink, captivated the audience with his personal story, which can be heard here.


He began by saying, “Nothing has honored me more than being asked to be here today. For me, as I am sure it is for many of you, McDonogh is everything. There is life at home, and there is life here. And, the life here is one of possibility…opportunities that the scholarship program makes a reality.”

After contrasting McDonogh with life in the “real world” and describing how his experience changed his life, he thanked the donors present at the event. “Thank you for making the American dream possible not only for me, but for all the students in this room.”

He concluded by encouraging the students to give back. “Make sure that opportunity exists for other people,” he said. “Make America more like McDonogh.”

Next, beaming with enthusiasm, Angelique H. ’15 spoke from the perspective of a current scholarship recipient. She expressed her gratitude for her scholarship and the opportunities it provided. She noted friends encouraging her to become a leader, teachers giving her the confidence to stand up for herself, and the generosity of a donor which “allowed her to attend a school dedicated to making her the best version of herself.”


She added, “Thanks to my scholarship, I’ve had seven years at one of the best places on earth with opportunities I would have never imagined having. I’ve been to Machu Picchu in Peru, perfected the art of tree climbing, and honed the long envied skill of scaring your roommates when they least expect it. I owe all of that and my many other experiences to my McDonogh scholarship, and I will always be grateful.”

Angelique and Louis were not the only ones who shared their scholarship stories. During an Upper School assembly earlier in the day, Director of Religious Studies, Character, and Service Bridget Collins ’90, who was also a scholarship recipient at McDonogh, said, “The gift of my education came from the financial sacrifices of my parents, my teenage sister, and most amazingly, parents, alumni, and friends of the school who didn’t even know me.”

She emphasized that scholarship is something to be celebrated. “It is what gives us the opportunity to have friends and classmates from all over this state from various backgrounds.” She concluded, “I’ve always been incredibly proud to call myself a scholarship student, and I hope you will all join me today to celebrate our school’s unique history and our commitment to scholarship.”


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