Tuck Fund Scholarship
A History of the St. Mary's Tuck Fund
The Tuck Fund was created in 1959 at St. Mary’s Church to assist students from within the St. Mary’s community to pay for a college education. The Fund had a humble beginning as a loan from one donor to one student needing aid. Supported by many generous donors and a large investment account, the Tuck Fund has evolved over the intervening years from a single $1,300 loan to a value of over $800,000 and tens of thousands of dollars in multiple scholarships for as many as 12 students annually.
In 1959, William Albro, a parishioner of St. Mary's, approached the Rev. Gordon Stenning, St. Mary's rector, about needing help to pay the final $1,300 of his college bill before he would be granted a diploma. Rev. Stenning approached Adeline A. Tuck, a parishioner with a long history of generosity to St. Mary's causes, for the funds. Miss Tuck agreed to provide the needed $1,300 to St. Mary’s for Mr. Albro with two conditions
- that “every penny” be repaid, and
- that the source of the funding remain anonymous.
Adeline Tuck died on 1 September 1959, less than 2 months after the gift was given. Upon her death, Rev. Stenning proposed and the vestry approved that the Adeline A. Tuck Scholarship Fund (TSF) be established in memory of Miss Tuck. While it was called a “scholarship” fund, the Tuck Fund was always intended to be a loan fund. Miss Tuck never considered her original donation to be an outright grant to Mr. Albro, but rather a loan to be repaid with the repayment being loaned to other students.
Given Miss Tuck's original intentions, the vestry established guidelines
- to ensure that future recipients would be regular members of the St. Mary’s community in good standing, and
- to provide for loan repayment within five years of graduation, and the loans were
- to be provided for “higher” education, to include college and technical/trade schools.
By the mid 1990’s, administration of the TSF loan repayments had grown lax, with most of the loans remaining unpaid after five years of the recipient’s graduation. The TSF balance had continued to grow in the investment account.
Because the repayments had grown lax, $56,000 of old Tuck loans were written off and the program became a scholarship program in 2016. Scholarships were awarded at $2,000 per semester with a cap of $16,000 for a student’s education. This decision was well-accepted by the congregation. Over 30 parishioners have been helped with their higher educational costs over the last six years with awarded scholarships.
In 2019 the Tuck Fund more than double when over $400,000 was added to the fund. St. Mary's sold 10 acres of farmland on Oliphant Lane in Middletown which had been left to the church in 1960 by Mrs. Mary Mitchell. In accordance with her wishes, for almost 60 years the income from the rental of the farmland was added to the Tuck Fund as was the proceeds from its sale.
In 2020 the Tuck Fund extended its scope and asked the vestry for $1000 summer school scholarships because of COVID and the changing nature of students' college careers. These recommendations were approved by the vestry and are the current basis for the benefit.
What began in 1959 as an act of kindness to the benefit of a single student has grown with the ability of the TSF to support a more robust educational support program for St. Mary’s students. What Adeline Tuck envisioned as a loan program has evolved into a scholarship program to more greatly benefit many more students. One cannot help but think that Adeline Tuck would heartily approve of the current state of the educational support program she so generously inaugurated.
This history of the Tuck Fund is a condensed version of a longer one written by Ted Bierman, former St. Mary's treasurer and Tuck Fund Committee member.
In compiling the history, Ted consulted with the Rev. Gordon Stenning and researched past treasurers' reports, vestry minutes, and St. Mary's annual reports.
To apply for a Tuck Fund Scholarship
Members or children of members are eligible to apply for the Tuck Fund Scholarship for trade school, technical school, professional certification, or undergraduate or graduate school. A member of the parish means that an applicant has received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, is registered as a member of the parish, is a regular worshiper in the parish, and that the member or the applicant's family is not in arrears in the fulfillment of the pledge to support the Parish.
Tuck Fund applicants demonstrate a willingness to engage in an ongoing relationship with St. Mary’s as evidenced by their commitment to our mission: worship, well-being and service.
The deadline for this application is July 1 for summer school and the fall semester and January 4 for the spring semester. Please pay close attention to the online application. If you have questions about the scholarship or applying, please contact the scholarship committee.