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Scholarship Celebration: A Most Memorable Evening

Scholarship 2016-06-14 17-41-05Leroy Dillard, a member of the Landmarks Scholarship Committee, and his wife Gwen, hosted an inspirational reception at their home in the Hill District for PHLF’s newest and former scholarship recipients and other invited guests. Everyone enjoyed an incredible view of downtown Pittsburgh and the Allegheny River Valley on a picture-perfect evening. Leslie Ezra Smith welcomed the group by reading a poem he wrote about the Hill, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Arts Collective’s African drum and dance groups, founded by Thomas Chatman, performed while people enjoyed a delicious soul-food dinner. For more photos, see our Facebook page.

We congratulate the following four high-school graduates who were awarded scholarships in the amount of $6,000 (payable to the college/university over four years for book and tuition expenses):

  • Benjamin Finnstrom, from Pittsburgh CAPA, who will be attending the University of Pennsylvania and studying architecture;
  • Jacob Seiler, from North Hills High School, who will be attending Penn State University and studying engineering;
  • Aaron Smolar, from Pittsburgh Allderdice, who will be attending Washington University in St. Louis and studying architecture; and
  • Kevin Stiles, from North Allegheny High School, who will be attending Carnegie Mellon University and studying computer science.

In addition, we congratulate four more high-school graduates who were awarded honorable mentions (a one-time gift of $250 payable to the college/university for book and tuition expenses):

  • Remy Erkel, from Winchester Thurston, who will be attending Haverford College and studying mathematics;
  • Mitchell Ford, from South Fayette High School, who will be attending the Catholic University of America and studying architecture;
  • Jeewon Lee, from North Allegheny High School, who will be attending the University of Pennsylvania and studying biochemistry; and
  • Genevieve Nieson, from The Ellis School, who will be attending the Pratt Institute of Art and Design.

“We welcome these eight new winners to our remarkable group of Scholarship recipients,” said David Brashear, founder and chair of the Landmarks Scholarship Committee. “I am continually impressed by the type of people who grow up in Western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh is a humble place, and self-promotion and large egos really aren’t part of the regional DNA. But I believe there is value in recognizing that someone has something to contribute and that their efforts have been appreciated. I think our scholarship winners have shown that they take our recognition in a very positive way, and become better people because of it.”

Since PHLF began awarding scholarships in 1999, many of the recipients have graduated from college/university and are employed or are pursuing further education. “We have scholarship alumni working in the fields of architecture, business, construction, engineering, development, and medicine, among other professions,” said PHLF Executive Director Louise Sturgess. “One student is pursuing a PhD program at the University of Pittsburgh in Environmental Engineering, while others are pursuing studies or working in Austin, Boston, Chicago, New York City, California, Germany, and Scotland. Two former recipients are now trustees of PHLF––Kezia Ellison and Todd Wilson––and each recipient stays in touch with PHLF and continues to care about this region.”

PHLF’s scholarship program is funded by generous contributions from the Brashear Family Named Fund and by donations to the Landmarks Scholarship Fund, including contributions to the 2008 and 2014 Scholarship Celebrations.

We welcome the support of our members and friends to help us sustain this program. To contribute, please click here (and designate your gift to “Scholarship Programs”) or contact Mary Lu Denny (412-471-5808, ext. 527). Thank you very much.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633