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Named Awards

The following awards were established by substantial gifts to the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation. These awards may be supplemented by continuing gifts.


Throughout his life, Donald Babson gave back to the Wellesley community. Taking time from his extensive professional commitments as Chairman of Babson United Investment Advisers and president of United Business Service, Mr. Babson served on numerous town committees and was a member of Town Meeting for forty years. In 1994, he was the recipient of the Wellesley Award for his service to the community. Serving as a Trustee of Babson College for 25 years, he was also honored with the establishment of the Donald P. Babson Chair in Applied Investments. When he died in 1997 at the age of 73, the Babson family decided to honor him with the creation of a merit scholarship in his name to be given to a deserving young man from Wellesley. The scholarship is to be awarded to "a male student who is a resident of the town and whose academic motivation is strong. The recipient should demonstrate a high level of distinction in scholarship, citizenship and character as well as strong extracurricular interests and activities." The Donald P. Babson Merit Award is a $3,000 scholarship renewable for four years.

View historical Donald P. Babson Merit Scholarship Recipients




A longtime Wellesley resident, Margaret E. Daniels was a graduate of Simmons College who established and operated The Lion's Den, a specialty antique and gift shop in Boston's Back Bay. Ms. Daniels was an avid supporter of the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation from its inception in 1951. She had a keen interest in developing college education opportunities for highly motivated students from the Wellesley community. Margaret Daniels died in November 1976. In her will, she provided a bequest to the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation to establish a scholarship that would be "regarded as an honor and a tribute to a young person who wishes to cultivate her mind, a spur and aid to its further development.” The Margaret E. Daniels Merit Award is to be given to a deserving young woman from Wellesley. The scholarship is to be awarded to "a female student who is a resident of the town and whose academic motivation is strong. The recipient should demonstrate a high level of distinction in scholarship, citizenship and character as well as strong extracurricular interests and activities." The Margaret E. Daniels Merit Award is a $3,000 scholarship renewable for four years.


View historical Margaret E. Daniels Merit Scholarship Recipients




In 1940, David L. Babson founded his own investment counsel firm, David L. Babson & Co., which grew into one of the largest investment counsel firms in the country. Mr. Babson was a renowned financier who held directorships in many companies, was a past president of the Investment Counsel Association of America and was co-author of the book, Investing for a Successful Future. Mr. Babson served the Wellesley community in many different capacities. He was a member of the original Wellesley Town Meeting elected in 1934 and served for more than 40 years. He was chairman of the Wellesley Veterans' Housing Authority and the Board of Public Works. In the early 1970s, he was honored as the Grand Marshal of the Wellesley Veterans Parade. He was also a member and former president of the Wellesley Club. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and gardening. Mr. Babson died in December 1998 at the age of 87. He had designated the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation as a beneficiary under his will, with a contribution directed to the Donald P. Babson Merit Scholarship and a contribution to the WSF endowment. First awarded in 1999, the David L. Babson Scholarship was established to honor his memory.



Under Paul Babson’s ownership of United Business Service, the company expanded from a fledgling financial bulletin service to major proportions. Mr. Babson was also associated with the original Kiplinger Letters. Paul and Edith Babson are remembered as modest, unassuming citizens, always approachable and ready to help. The Babsons were active in educational circles particularly with Babson College and Springfield College and were always generous to educational programs. Mr. Babson was involved in the establishment of the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation in 1951. In 1956 he challenged the community to raise $25,000 to establish an endowment fund for WSF, which he would match. Through his generosity and commitment to the education of the youth of Wellesley, the challenge campaign was a success and a $50,000 endowment fund was established. Paul and Edith Babson left a sizable bequest in their will to the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation, and this award is now given in their honor.




The David and Kathleen Baum Family Foundation Scholarship wishes to celebrate the recipient's graduation from high school and intention to attend college. The pathway that brings students to this milestone moment is sometimes a winding one with unexpected hurdles and kindnesses encountered along the way. Each student's journey is unique, and the family commends the recipient's demonstrated ability to capitalize upon the opportunities presented to them and to chart a life of promise for themselves. The David and Kathleen Baum Family Foundation Scholarship was awarded for the first time in 2019.



Charlie was born in 1925 at his home in Wellesley graduating from Wellesley High School in 1942. After serving in World War II as a naval aviator, he earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northeastern University and Master of Education from Boston University.

His teaching career began in Winchester in 1951. Charlie moved to the John D Hardy School in 1956 as a 6th grade teacher and became the principal in 1965. He retired in 1988 having spent 32 years there.

Charlie was a thoughtful, affable man who could easily make anyone smile.  He touched and inspired many people throughout his 97 years.  At Hardy he was known for such things as challenging students to beat him climbing the ropes in the gym using only his arms; participating in the annual snowball fight, principal against students; the annual trip to a Red Sox day game. He prided himself in knowing the names of all of his students. One of his major accomplishments included the conversion of two classrooms into a new library.

He enjoyed receiving letters from former students and seeing former students when he was out shopping or at a local event.
When possible this scholarship will be awarded to a student who attended the Hardy School.




In 2011, the Cambridge Trust Charitable Foundation (formerly known as the Wellesley Bank Charitable Foundation) was formed for the purpose of funding organizations that positively impact the lives around them in the communities the bank serves. In 2012, a grant was approved by the Foundation to support the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation’s “Campaign for the Future”, a permanently restricted endowment fund, by committing $25,000 over five years. In December 2013, the Foundation voted to double their commitment. To recognize the Foundation’s generosity, the WSF Board created a permanently named award, the Cambridge Trust Charitable Foundation Award, to be given annually to a deserving Wellesley student or students who qualify for scholarship assistance for higher education.



In 1999, Wellesley resident Alice Confortes established this scholarship award in loving memory of her daughter Jackie, and in honor of Jackie's love and respect for education. Prior to her death in 1995, Jackie led a fascinating life that spanned several continents. She was born in Salonika, Greece in 1932. During World War II she moved with her parents to Athens, which was occupied by the Italians at the time. When the Germans took over, the Confortes family was forced to flee to Israel. Jackie served in the Israeli army and as a translator in Geneva, Switzerland. She then moved to the United States, completing her master's degree at Mt. Holyoke College and her Ph.D. at Brandeis University. Jackie taught English for many years at Regis College, and resided in Wellesley with her husband, Abe Covo. Throughout her life, Jackie felt that education was the key to eliminating racism, hatred and bigotry. She believed that "education can open minds."  Upon her death in 2005, Alice Confortes bequeathed an additional $250,000 to the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation in memory of Jackie. First awarded in 2000, the criteria for the Confortes Award are scholarship, a strong sense of caring for others and financial need. The award is a $1,500 scholarship renewable for four years.


David Coughlin, a lifelong resident of Wellesley, graduated from Wellesley High School and later from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst with a degree in Natural Resource Economics. David was a Management Analyst with the Wellesley Selectmen’s office, primarily involved with traffic management and Town Meeting preparation. In August 1999, David was traveling to California to begin his graduate studies at U.C. Santa Barbara when he died in the Carlsbad, New Mexico desert at the age of 26. To honor David’s memory, his family and friends created this scholarship award in his name, which was presented for the first time in 2002.




Frances B. and Francis J. Daly lived in Wellesley for 48 years and raised their four sons in the town. As the boys were growing up, education was highly valued in their household, according to son John Daly. When their mother passed away in 1998, following their father’s passing in 1989, the sons determined that the most appropriate way to honor their parents’ memory and to celebrate their lives would be to endow a scholarship in their name. "My parents would take great satisfaction in having their names associated with the provision of financial assistance to college students of Wellesley. Their encouragement of our education reflected both a belief in individual fulfillment and a responsibility to help provide educational opportunities to future students." First awarded in 2004, the Daly Family Scholarship honors the Daly parents as well as brother Eugene, an early WSF scholarship recipient.




Gloria Gould Danforth was a resident of Wellesley for 38 years, where she raised her two sons and was active in the Wellesley Garden Study Group, the Wellesley Historical Society and Girl Scouts, U.S.A. Committed to the ideal of providing an education to all, Mrs. Danforth devoted her energy for many years to raising funds for the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation by organizing the annual benefit event -- the “Fund Frolics” dinner dance. When Mrs. Danforth died in September 1998, her family established a permanent fund from which the Gloria Gould Danforth Scholarship would be awarded annually. In 1999, the award was presented for the first time by her son, Stuart.



As a woman who worked professionally when most women did not, Maude Johnson Diehl was a trailblazer. She worked in her family’s business, the Fred 0. Johnson & Co. Insurance Agency, which was started by her father in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She worked her way to the top and eventually ran the business with her husband, Frank Diehl, whom she married in the early 1900’s. Maude and Frank had no children, and Maude was an only child. So, when Frank predeceased her, Maude Johnson Diehl made plans to donate her estate to causes that were important to her. In 1965, at the time of her death, her estate was worth $1,000,000. Knowing that education is the base upon which achievements are built, Maude Johnson Diehl used her money to invest in the future. Funded by her gift of $250,000 to the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation, the Maude Diehl Scholarship has been awarded annually since 1968.


Throughout his life, Alan Gerlach had a warm place in his heart for Wellesley and Wellesley High School. To honor his memory, his family and friends wanted to provide college scholarship opportunities for high school seniors who share some of Alan’s passions. Alan was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1949, raised in Wellesley and graduated from Wellesley High School in 1967. He subsequently attended Harvard College and the University of Florida Law School. Alan also received a degree from the Southern Methodist School of Law. Immediately after completing his law school education in 1975, Alan served as a law clerk for the Florida Supreme Court and then for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. He then practiced law for more than 40 years in the private and corporate sectors. Until his untimely death in February 2019, Alan lived happily in Orlando, Florida with his wife Betsy. Over the decades, he returned frequently to Massachusetts, with Wellesley, Cambridge and the Cape receiving visits. Alan’s interest in making a positive difference in his communities began early. In high school, he campaigned to save a branch library near his home, held office in the student council and participated in Boys’ State. In college, he was vice president of the Young Democrats. Later in life, he interviewed applicants to Harvard College from Florida, served as a Webber International University trustee and participated on numerous Florida bar association committees. First awarded in 2020, the Alan M. Gerlach WHS Class of 1967 Scholarship is awarded each year to a graduating senior who has been a leader in student government or who has been very active in community affairs.


Marie Irene Gillette, a longtime resident of Wellesley, was an avid believer in the value of an education. At the time of her death in 1989, Ms. Gillette bequeathed funds to the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation for the creation of a scholarship in her name. She wanted the scholarship to be awarded to "graduates of Wellesley High School who evidence their desire to further their education in the field of Industrial Arts ... [or] to any qualified applicant whose academic performance, character, diligence and need deem that applicant a worthy recipient." The Marie Irene Gillette Award has been awarded annually since 1990.



In the spring of 2001, the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation Board announced the creation of the Brooks and Jeanie Goddard Award. In celebration of the 50th year of the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation, the award was conceived as part of the Gala celebration to honor the two educators. Together, the Goddards taught for over 50 years as faculty in the Wellesley High School English Department. Their inspired teaching, tireless service and loving example enriched the lives of thousands of Wellesley students. With their students, the Goddards shared Brooks’ African teaching experience, their worldwide travel and life lessons in addition to teaching literature and writing skills. To honor the teachers, WSF received contributions from countless Wellesley families, fellow teachers and former students from around the country. The inaugural Brooks and Jeanie Goddard Award was presented in 2002, and is now given annually.




Born on February 2, 1990, Matthew Hamilton Grape was the third of three children of Peter and Linda Grape. He lived his entire life in Wellesley, attending the public school system through middle school. Matthew graduated from the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham. He was a passenger in a car that was involved in an automobile accident and was killed on September 15, 2011 at the beginning of his senior year at Duke University. He was 21 years old.


Matt had tremendous school spirit both at Nobles and at Duke. He loved sports and took the lead in organizing his classmates to support the schools’ teams. Matthew also had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Boston professional sports teams. He was tough, or, as he would say, “tough as nails.” When Matt asked you to do something, you did it because he asked so little of anyone. To be Matt’s friend, you had to first break down his guard, but, upon doing so, he was one of the most loyal friends a person could have. He was also funny, smart and highly independent. He could break the tension in any room with his one liners and huge dimpled smile. Matt was a true gentleman, with a hard exterior but the warmest of souls.


His family wishes to award the Matthew Hamilton Grape award to an individual who possesses the above characteristics. Matthew loved Duke University and his undergraduate years; his family feels it is important to give other young men and women a similar experience. The awardee should demonstrate similar independence as well as a love of school and all it represents.



In August 2000, Wellesley Scholarship Foundation lost longtime board member, supporter and beloved friend J. Michael Harding. Mike’s contributions to the education of Wellesley’s young people were the result of his tireless service to WSF as President, investment counselor, board member and champion of educational opportunity. Mike’s quiet but tenacious advocacy for WSF has lived on in continuing bequests, gifts and scholarship donations and the entire WSF family is indebted to Mike for this ongoing legacy. In 2001, the J. Michael Harding Award was presented for the first time and is now awarded annually.




In June 2007, when Wellesley High School Principal Rena Mirkin announced her retirement after 11 years of dedicated leadership, members of the community raised funds to endow a college scholarship in Rena’s name. As a scholarship recipient herself, Rena was well aware of the importance of the generosity of others in making it possible for young people to fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams. The response of the Wellesley community, along with others whose lives had been touched by Rena over the years, was extraordinary. In 2007, the first Rena P. Mirkin Scholarship was awarded. In 2015, the scholarship was renamed the Rena and Howard Mirkin Scholarship in recognition of the couple’s shared goals, values, and recognition that education is a “ticket for life.” The greatest gift imaginable to this couple is a scholarship being awarded annually in their name.  This year donations will be made in honor of their 80th Birthdays. 



In 1973, Bill and Nancy Mullahy left the island beauty of Hong Kong to reside in the lush greenery of Wellesley. A key factor in their choice of Wellesley as a community to raise their three young children was the town’s excellent school system. Through the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation, the Mullahy Family is pleased to provide access to higher education for capable Wellesley students needing financial assistance. Their hope is that a scholarship is awarded to a student interested in studying the sciences, which develops the critical thinking necessary to excel in many areas including health, engineering, education, or business. When possible, the scholarship is awarded to a first-generation college student.



Gerry Murphy taught at Wellesley High School from 1962 to 1998. As a teacher of Political Science, Economics, US History, and Humanities, Gerry electrified his students with his brilliant mind and his fearless approach to the status quo. He challenged his students to think, to question and to take risks, and he nurtured their spirits with his warmth and generosity of spirit earning their lifelong loyalty and friendship. In many ways, Gerry’s entire life was dedicated to education, inspiring everyone he met to see and do things differently. Gerry’s career extended beyond WHS. It included work with an organization funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, headmaster of The American School in Switzerland’s (TASIS) school in Surrey, England, as well as editor and consulting positions for publishers including McDougal Littell. His experiences fed his curiosity and provided new content for him to teach to family, friends, former students, students he mentored at Boston University’s School of Education and Wellesley neighbors. The Gerry Murphy Scholarship will help fund the education of a courageous person who is committed to leaving a positive impact on the world by doing more for others than him or herself.



Marion Niles was a resident of Wellesley for seventy years. During her lifetime, she actively supported many different endeavors. She was President of the State Organization of Girls Clubs, Vice President of the National Organization of Girls Clubs and President of the Rockport Lodge, a vacation home for Massachusetts working women. Marion was also instrumental in the establishment of the Wellesley Human Relations Service, recognized nationally as a pilot mental health agency. Through the Unitarian Service Committee, Ms. Niles helped bring European refugees to the United States in 1939 and 1940. She served as President of the League of Women Voters and was among the first elected members of the Wellesley representative Town Meeting. At the age of eighty-six, she wrote and published an account of her father's life. When she died, Ms. Niles left a bequest in her will to Wellesley Scholarship Foundation. The first Marion Niles Scholarship was awarded in 1978, and is now awarded annually.



The Sarah H. Pedersen Award was created in memory of--and in grateful tribute to--the life and work of Sarah Pedersen, by her family and by a legion of her admiring friends. During the many years of her life in Wellesley, Sarah devoted her seemingly tireless energy, her exceptional thoughtfulness, organizational and leadership skills, and her relentless optimism to the town of Wellesley in myriad ways—a partial list of which includes multiple years as an elected member of Town Meeting, as an active participant in, and ultimately President of, the PTOs at all three levels of Wellesley’s public schools, as a Board Member of the Wellesley Education Foundation, and finally, for twelve years, as a Board member then President/Co-President of the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation, ending in 2022. After many years of thought and preparation, it was under Sarah’s focused direction that WSF’s charter was finally changed to allow all students who graduate from Wellesley High School, as well as all students who reside in Wellesley, to be eligible to receive a WSF scholarship. This was perhaps Sarah’s proudest professional achievement. Because it was Sarah’s conviction that a college education should be made possible for all Wellesley high school graduates, the Sarah H. Pedersen Award is to be given to any graduate of Wellesley High School, whether a resident of the town or not, who, during their high school years, has distinguished him, her or themself in at least one realm—academic or otherwise--and for whom receipt of a college scholarship will make it financially possible for him, her or them to attend college.


Carol and Stephen Porter were longtime Wellesley residents who were very active in town affairs. Carol Porter was involved in the League of Women Voters, the Human Relations Service and the school system. She was an integral part of the mental health community and was described as an "extraordinary professional." Stephen Porter served on several town committees, both appointed and elected, including School Committee, Advisory Committee, Permanent School Accommodations Committee, Permanent Building Committee and the Zoning Board of Appeals. He always tried to see both sides of an issue and is remembered for his honesty, integrity and as a profound thinker.


Carol and Stephen Porter are remembered as energetic and adventuresome. When the plane Stephen was piloting went down off Nantucket, Carol and Stephen passed away too early. To honor their memory, their family asked that donations be made to Wellesley Scholarship Foundation for scholarships to support Wellesley youth. In 1988, the first Carol and Stephen Porter Scholarship was awarded and is now awarded annually.



Larry Rice was a world traveler, amateur architect, and amateur tennis player who was talented enough to be unofficially ranked fourth in the country. He loomed large in the lives of Wellesley youth, coaching boys in tennis and hockey for more than sixty years. Rice coached and trained Hank Bothfield, a member of the 1948 U.S. Olympic Hockey team and former tennis professionals Marty Reissen and Ferdi Taygan. The hockey players usually trained with Larry on Rockridge Pond and the tennis players often used a tennis court built in back of his Cypress Street home. In January 1992, Larry Rice died at the age of 95. After his death, Tom Warren, a native of Wellesley and the founder of Thomas Warren & Associates, Inc. in Sherborn, established a scholarship in honor of Larry, to be funded by his numerous hockey and tennis protégés. The scholarship is targeted to scholar athletes, and if possible, those who play hockey or tennis. Since 1993, the Larry Rice Scholarship has been awarded annually.




A beloved Wellesley Middle School Science teacher for over 30 years, Douglas Sands was known to generations of students for his love of the outdoors and emphasis on natural history. Named “Conservation Teacher of the Year” by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Doug Sands’ students recall his many animals, especially a pet tortoise named “Ably” who roamed Doug’s classroom for 25 years. Doug was also famous for his annual “trips to the moon.” Students were required to obtain parental permission for this fanciful journey which required them to problem solve to remain “alive.”

Following Mr. Sands’ death, Tom Warren established a scholarship in Doug’s name to honor a teacher who, by his own estimation, taught over 40,000 students during his career. In 2002, the first Douglas Sands Memorial Award was presented and is now awarded annually.


Matthew Trubiani (known as Trubbs to his friends) lived most of his 22 years in Wellesley, attending Hardy Elementary and Wellesley Middle School, before graduating from Wellesley High School in 1996. Matt developed an interest in business during his time working at the WHS school store and was ultimately awarded the Wellesley Chamber of Commerce Award. Matt pursued his interest in business enrolling in business courses at University of Massachusetts - Amherst and Mass Bay Community College while continuing to work. Matt enjoyed sports throughout his life, playing Little League and swimming for the WHS team as well as local and regional swim teams. He also played golf for the Wellesley High School team and carried a passion for the game after high school. An active member of the Unitarian Church youth group, Matt participated in numerous youth activities and service projects. Matt’s family and friends have created this scholarship to help his memory live on, and to never forget his honesty and unique sense of humor.


The Scott Wheelock Award was established to honor the memory of the former Wellesley resident and 1978 Wellesley High School graduate. While at Wellesley High, Scott was a member of the varsity baseball and basketball teams and earned the Jack Sanford Award as the top pitcher on the WHS baseball team. In addition to his participation in sports, Scott was a member of the Key Club and was active in many social activities.  


The Scott Wheelock Memorial Award is presented in Scott’s memory to “a Wellesley High School senior continuing his or her education and who exhibits the values that Scott lived: a love of sports, a thirst for learning and travel, respect for nature, love of life and compassion for others.” It was presented for the first time in 2001, and is now awarded annually.

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