Alumni Doing What Social Workers Do: Give Back

Jason Lee

School able to increase student scholarships as a result of alumni generosity

Social Workers give their time, energy, and talents in service to others. The nature of giving extends to the financial contributions of our alumni and friends who have recently increased their support for students.

Stimulated by a generous matching gift from Joel Berman, several new scholarships and funds – almost of all of which go directly to student support programming – were established in the last several months.

These scholarships and funds create more opportunities for students to pursue their passion for social work and enhance learning experiences in all programs. Decades-long decreases in state support, combined with several years of tuition freezes at the undergraduate level, make this generosity important to the success of our school in training the next generation of social work leaders.

The Anne Minahan Affecting Change Scholarship, named after a long-time faculty member who co-authored the seminal book Social Work Practice, Model and Method, will recruit and assist MSW-level students who demonstrate leadership and social change and have a high financial need. Former chair of the Board of Visitors, Deb Rose, and her husband Curtis established the scholarship to honor Anne’s legacy. “We hope that others who were inspired by Anne will join us in providing this opportunity to allow her teachings to live on,” Rose says.

As Rose points out, “It is important to invest in students who are passionate about making positive impacts on society.”

Other new funds include:

Tamara Grigsby Scholarship for Advocacy of Equity, Social Justice, and Positive Social Change – for a graduate student based on academic excellence, financial need, and commitment to social justice advocacy.

Joyce Carpenter Degenhart ’57 Scholarship – to recognize and support undergraduate students.

Diane Kravetz Fund for Women, Leadership, and Social Change – to promote women’s leadership in the social work profession, leadership that promotes meaningful social change.

The Morrissey Family Fund – to support the school’s efforts to expand opportunities for our school community, particularly in the area of mental health.

This spring, the school will present the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award to Lynn Green who will retire after 50 years in public service. To recognize her career, the school has established the Lynn Green Scholarship for Public Service, which will support a graduate student who shares Lynn’s passion for public sector social services work.

Meanwhile, the school awarded more than 40 scholarships to current students during the current academic year. The addition of five full-tuition scholarships and stipends in the first year of the Rosenbaum Scholarship program increased the amount of scholarships awarded to students from $63,987 last year to nearly $170,000 this year.

Efforts to reduce financial barriers of our students is only possible due to the generosity of individuals who take it upon themselves to give back in support of students.


The creation of several of these new funds came with a first of its kind matching gift to the school from Joel Berman. Last year, Berman established the Harriet and Sandra Rosenbaum Scholarship and Opportunity Fund with a $5 million contribution (the largest gift ever to the school). This year, Berman gave $250,000 to match contributions to already existing priority funds and to help support the establishment of several new scholarships and funds.

The Maureen Pelton Hartwell Fund for Women’s Rights, the Tamara Grigsby Memorial Fund for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Gerald and Karen Bougneit Scholarship are just a few of the funds that attracted significant additional support and will aid students as a result of the generosity of donors and this matching opportunity.


Debra Beebe Memorial Scholarship
Katherine Prichard Benz Fund
Gerald and Karen Bougneit Scholarship
Joyce Carpenter Degenhart ’57 Scholarship
Robert and Lila Dibble Social Work Scholarship
Roberta Gassman School of Social Work Opportunities Fund
Lynn Green Scholarship for Public Social Service
Tamara Grigsby Memorial Fund for Diversity and Inclusion
Tamara Grigsby Scholarship for Advocacy of Equity, Social Justice, and Positive Social Change
Maureen Pelton Hartwell Fund for Women’s Rights
Alfred Kadushin Dissertation Research Award
Diane Kravetz Fund for Women, Leadership, and Social Change
Anne Minahan Affecting Change Scholarship
Morrissey Family Fund
Kathryn Becker Norman Memorial Scholarship
Irving Piliavin Award
Sheldon D. Rose Memorial Scholarship
Richard E. Schwert Award
School of Social Work Fund
Heather Milne Southwick ’53 Scholarship
University League Betsy and Bezalel Haimson Scholarship
Joeseph and Elaine Wojtowicz Scholarship