McDaniel College receives $2 million donation to establish memorial scholarship

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Westminster, Md. – McDaniel College has received a $2 million gift to fund the Robert Lee Madison Memorial Scholarship.

Made in memory of Robert Lee Madison, who died of pneumonia in the early 1970s before starting his studies at McDaniel (formerly Western Maryland) College, the $2 million bequest is from the estate of his mother, Miriam, and her second husband, Col. H. Howard Hayden. Col. Hayden never met his stepson Robert or visited McDaniel’s campus.

“It is not only incredible to receive a gift of this size from someone who never stepped foot on our campus, but it is also remarkable to know that his [Col. Hayden’s] estate is endowing a scholarship in memory of a young man he never met,” said McDaniel President Roger N. Casey.

Robert Lee Madison was the only child of Miriam and shipping executive Bill Madison. After their son’s death, the Madisons moved to Sun City, Ariz. Following Bill Madison’s death in 1991, Miriam met and later married Col. H. Howard Hayden who had a distinguished military career earning a Bronze Star in World War II. Both are now deceased — she in 2009 and he in 2015.

The gift was presented to McDaniel College by Robert Lee Madison’s cousin, Jenny (Newcomer) Hunter, and her husband, Bill, of Portland, Ore. Cousins Robert and Jenny grew up together frequently visiting each other’s homes in Hagerstown, Baltimore and Bethesda.

“We think the scholarship is Aunt Miriam’s way of having Robert’s life be meaningful —her way of envisioning what his life would have been like had he been able to realize his promise and potential,” said Jenny Hunter.

She added, “We are honored and privileged to be able to fulfill their wishes and to be the stewards of this gift.”

The Robert Lee Madison Memorial Scholarship will augment McDaniel’s competitive Dorsey Scholars Program, which awards comprehensive scholarships covering full tuition, room and board and provides distinctive opportunities for the students selected into the program. Potential Dorsey Scholars do not apply for the award, but are chosen from McDaniel’s Honors Program applicant pool. Scholars must maintain a 3.5 GPA and live on campus. They are also invited to enroll in the Honors Program.

McDaniel College, founded in 1867, is a four-year private college of the liberal arts and sciences with 1,600 undergraduates and 1,560 part-time graduate students. The college offers more than 70 undergraduate programs of study, including dual and student-designed majors, plus 25 highly regarded graduate and professional studies programs. In addition to its Westminster, Md., campus, McDaniel is the only American university with a European campus in Budapest, Hungary. For more information, click here.

Source: McDaniel College

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