What do you give yourself when you’re 70 years old, but feel modern and important and eagerly looking ahead to the next 70 years?
If you’re Staples Tuition Grants, you give yourself a new website. And a redesigned logo.
STG — which started in 1943, with a $100 gift from the Staples PTA — is now a huge operation. Last year, the all-volunteer organization handed out $314,000 in scholarships to 111 people: 30 graduating seniors, and 81 Staples alums. The largest award was $6,000.
Along the way, they interviewed all 135 applicants. And they spent a considerable amount of time raising the funds to maintain a healthy endowment.
The new logo actually builds on the old one. Miggs Burroughs — Westport’s go-to graphic designer, and himself a Staples grad — spiffed up the original tree, which symbolizes “the blossoming of youth through education.”
Miggs also reconfigured the logo, placing “Staples Tuition Grants” underneath the tree. The name now depicts STG’s “deep roots in the community,” while the extended tail on the letter “R” reflects an outreached hand.
The new website, meanwhile — spearheaded by Ann Pawlick — features an intriguing (and very educational) page dedicated to the nearly 100 named awards.
The list reads like a Who’s Who of Westporters.
It starts with Dorothy Adams — a beloved, early 20th-century principal at the Bridge Street School, and its new incarnation as Saugatuck Elementary.
Next is Dr. Jean Beasley — a female African-American pediatrician in Westport, when both were rarities anywhere.
The list includes — among many others — Bruce Betts, Richard Cion, Noel de Caprio, Irwin Donenfeld, Doug Donovan, Chuck Eliot, Sharon Frey, Eric Goldschmidt, Preston Hirten, Ann Kiester and Katy Macieski, Joe Koeller, Elliott Landon, Michael Kowall, the Krosse Family, Susan Malloy, Natalie Maynard, Joe and Mel Mioli, Lou Santella, Phil Schuyler, Betty and Ralph Sheffer, Ken Sweetnam, Joan Wilder and Ted Youngling.
Many died before their time. Others died after long service to our town. Some are still alive, but remembered gratefully by those whose lives they touched.
The new Staples Tuition Grants website is functional too, of course. Students can apply online (this year’s deadline is March 22). There’s an alumni page, to see what great things STG grads are up to.
And, of course, donors can donate.
The entire site is worth checking out. You’ll educate yourself about one of Westport’s oldest, most noteworthy non-profit organizations.
You’ll educate yourself about the men, women and teenagers (and foundations and corporations) whose names adorn much-appreciated awards.
And — hopefully — you’ll be inspired to make a donation, so that even more students can educate themselves, too.
(Click here to check out the Staples Tuition Grants website.)