Telluride Foundation: $53k In Scholarships To Graduating Seniors

Ouray high school senior Julia Vann named Neil Armstrong Scholarship Recipient

Julia Vann

Julia Vann


The end of the school year highlights a generous number of scholarships awarded by the Telluride Foundation to Telluride, Norwood, Nucla and Ouray high school students.

Scholarships this year included a $20,000 Neil Armstrong Scholarship; a $4,000 Neil Armstrong Merit Scholarship; five Strokes of Genius Scholarships for $5,000 each; and four Telluride Foundation Scholarships for $1,000 each, for a total of $53,000.

At the May 23, Ouray High School Awards ceremony, graduating senior, Julia Vann, received the third annual $20,000 Neil Armstrong Scholarship. Vann will be attending Amherst University in Massachusetts, where she will pursue a degree in mathematics and/or biophysics as well as pre-medical studies. Vann was selected based on her outstanding academics, strong interest in science, dedication, perseverance, and financial need.

Due to the strong applicant pool this year, the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Committee determined than an additional merit scholarship was deserved. Aaron Morgan, from Nucla High School, was awarded a Neil Armstrong Merit Scholarship of $4,000. Morgan will be attending University of Wyoming, where he plans to study biology and animal science. Morgan graduated top of his class; he is active in his community and school and demonstrates perseverance and a strong work ethic.

The Neil Armstrong scholarship fund was created by friends and family of Neil Armstrong to honor the achievements and character of the late American hero and astronaut who died in 2012. The Neil Armstrong Scholarship is awarded each year to a regional high school student pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

Now in its 22nd year, the Strokes of Genius Scholarship has become a proud Telluride tradition, and this year, five scholarships were awarded at the Telluride Awards Ceremony for graduating seniors. It is the largest and longest running local scholarship available for Telluride’s graduating seniors,  awarded to students who demonstrate financial need, academic excellence, exceptional character, community involvement, and leadership potential.

“Strokes” scholarship recipients

“Strokes” scholarship recipients

The Strokes of Genius Fund was established originally as the Benchmark Fund by the Benchmark Partners, a generous group of individuals (Ron & Joyce Allred, Forrest & Maria Faulconer, Nancy and Tom McNamara, Ock & Joanie Peterson and Jim & Sheila Wells), who identified the need for a college scholarship fund for THS students. The proceeds from the Strokes of Genius Golf Tournament, held each July, fuel the scholarship fund, which is now managed by the Telluride Foundation.

Since its inception, Strokes of Genius has distributed over $325,000 in college scholarships to 84 Telluride High School graduates. The 2015 recipients include: Alyssa Antista ($5,000), attending Colorado State University; T.J. Fulton ($5,000), attending Colorado University, Boulder; Jessica Jackman ($5,000), attending Colorado State University; Amber Metz ($5,000), attending AMDA College and Conservatory of Performing Arts; and Chambri Swartz ($5,000), attending Smith College.

Attention golfers: Now is your chance to take a swing for a great cause, providing college scholarships for THS graduates. This year’s Strokes of Genius Tournament, held July 24-25 at the Telluride Golf Club, will celebrate 22 years of supporting higher education. The tournament includes dinner in a private home, golf, and events, such as a Calcutta and an awards luncheon.  There are a few spots left, so come out and play for the kids!  Call Katie at (970 728-8717 or email katie@telluridefoundation.org to learn more or register.

Recipients of the Telluride Foundation Scholarships included Kelsey Rowe ($1,000) and Madison Magallon ($1,000) from Norwood High School, as well as Celestine Ames ($1,000) and Briana Santa Ana ($1,000) from Telluride High School.

“The Foundation and its donors believe that one of the best investments we can make is in our local youth,” said Paul Major, President & CEO of the Telluride Foundation. “We are thankful to our committed donors who believe in the importance of post-secondary education and in recognizing these kids who are such a great reflection of our community.”    

For more information on the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund and the Telluride Foundation, please go to www.telluridefoundation.org and click on “Our Work” and then “Donor Stewardship.”

For information about the Strokes of Genius Scholarship or to play in the tournament call Katie at 970-728-8717 or email katie@telluridefoundation.org.

Register for the Rundola, Telluride’s Fourth of July Footrace HERE

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making. As a grant maker, The Foundation awards grants to qualified applicants who serve the people living and working in the Telluride area for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life within the region. For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit www.telluridefoundation.org.

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