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Colleen McCann, Simon Family Scholarship recipient.
Colleen McCann, Simon Family Scholarship recipient.

PROFILES IN SCHOLARSHIP: SIMON FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP


I feel like I’m making a difference,” says Julie Simon Munro ’86 of her family’s philanthropy. Their Campaign gift of $500,000 to the William E. Simon Family Scholarship Fund brings that endowment to more than $1 million and provides scholarship support for some of UVM’s most able and engaged students.

Making a difference is a family tradition for the Simons. Julie’s father was William E. Simon, United States Secretary of the Treasury during the Nixon and Ford administrations, who founded the William E. Simon Foundation to fund his philanthropic activities after leaving government service. “He was a self-made man and a true leader who impressed on all of us very early on that it’s important to make a difference in the world and give back to your community,” Simon Munro says.

UVM’s William E. Simon Family Scholars reflect those values. They are students in the College of Arts and Sciences selected for academic merit, financial need, and commitment to student leadership and community service. “We want to help UVM to attract students who are top-notch academically and who show they have that extra drive to get involved as student leaders and give back to their community,” says Simon Monro. A member of UVM’s National Campaign Steering Committee, she’s excited about UVM’s Campaign and overall directions, and especially the emphasis on scholarships to attract the best and the brightest. “The students we’ve been able to help with our family’s scholarship are exactly in tune with UVM’s commitment to academic excellence,” she says.

Coleen McCann ’07 is one of UVM’s newest Simon Scholars. The biochemistry major from Trumbull, Connecticut, hopes eventually to become a pediatrician. The Simon Family Scholarship, she says, “made it possible for me to come here.” UVM is something of a family tradition for her — both parents are UVM alums. As a Simon Scholar, McCann devotes a minimum of ten hours a week to community service, and frequently more. She is active in Volunteers in Action, the student group that operates a variety of volunteer programs in the Burlington community. She has done craft projects with young mothers at the Lund Center for pregnant and parenting teens, and is the coordinator of SOS, or Special-One-Time-Service, which takes on special needs as they arise in the community. A particularly rewarding experience, she says, has been her work with children for the Committee on Temporary Shelter, or COTS, a non-profit that serves the homeless. “I love to work with the kids,” she says. “It makes my day.”

McCann is also an exempary student and a participant in the John Dewey Honors Program. “I couldn’t have made a better choice,” she says, “The honors classes are small, so you get to know the faculty really well, and I’m getting exposed to subjects I probably wouldn’t have found on my own.”

Of the overall UVM experience, she says, “I love it. It’s so interesting that the person you thought you were in high school can completely change.”