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Our History

Wellesley Scholarship Foundation (WSF) was established in 1951, with the goal of ensuring that every Wellesley youth can pursue his or her dream of a college education. 

Since its inception, WSF has awarded more than $7 million
to over 3,800 students.

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Our Story

In 1950, a number of civic organizations in Wellesley became concerned that deserving young people in our town were being denied education beyond high school because of their inability to finance the entire cost. In response to this issue, the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation (WSF) was founded as a charitable organization and began the important work of providing scholarship funds to help bridge the gap between the cost of college and what a student and their family could provide.


Initial donations to WSF back in 1951 were received from almost every major civic organization in town, and these organizations then relied on the Foundation to make scholarship award decisions on their behalf. In 1956, Wellesley resident Paul T. Babson proposed the establishment of a permanent fund from which income could be derived each year to enhance annual donations. He challenged the community with a dollar for dollar matching campaign. The community mobilized to meet the challenge, and the Permanent Endowment Fund was created in 1957 with a total of $50,300.

Since the 1950’s, there have been numerous additions to WSF’s Permanent Endowment Fund, primarily through generous donations or bequests made in honor of beloved citizens or educators from Wellesley. Most recently, in honor of the organization’s 60th anniversary, the WSF Campaign for the Future raised another $240,000 to the Permanent Endowment Fund – which now exceeds $6 million. Today, income from the Permanent Endowment Fund is combined with annual donations to provide scholarship money to college-bound youth that reside in Wellesley or are educated in our community at Wellesley High School.

While we are very proud of this enormous accomplishment, over $1 million in demonstrated unmet financial need remained among the recipients of our 2022-2023 scholarships. Therefore, each year, we try to raise more money to reach our goal of being able to fully fund the demonstrated financial need of our college-bound students. Helping students achieve the dream of a college education is what motivates each trustee on the WSF Board.

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