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November 24, 2017

Grammer-Massengill Scholarship Fund

Everyone has heard of the “Grammer-Massengill Scholarship Fund” and seem to know that it was set up from donations by Mrs. Grammer and Mrs. Massengill to help students with expenses. This is a history of how the Grammer-Massengill Scholarship Fund came to be.

Mrs. Norma Rutledge Grammer was the organizing regent of the Honorable Philip Livingston Chapter in Fort Worth from 1959-1963. She was Texas State Regent from 1963-1965. She started the Texas Society Student Assistance Fund in 1965 during her term as State Regent, with a donation of $500 and was dedicated to making all DAC Chapters aware of the Fund and hoping to see it grow. She loved children, even though she had none of her own. The early gifts made from the fund, which were usually about $50, were known as “Book Awards” and were used by recipients to purchase textbooks. One of the goals set by State Regent Mrs. Grady Kirby in 1965 was to increase the principal of the fund to a minimum of $1000. By the end of her term in 1967, it was $1200. By 1979 the fund principal had grown to $4000.

Traditionally the awards have been made to American History students of colleges located in or near the cities in which the State Assemblies have been held each year, however, no stipulation as to major or grade point average is required. Only in 1967 was the gift given to an out-of-state student, who was from School of the Ozarks in Missouri. The State Regent, with assistance from hostess chapters select the recipients of the Scholarship. The Standing Rules of the Texas Society state “The Texas Student Assistance Awards which shall be given to one or more worthy undergraduate students at a college or university in the locale of the city where the State Assembly is held. The State Regent shall oversee this project. The hostess chapters will assist her in the selections of recipients. There shall be no stipulation as to grade points or to the major. The students and a professor or counselor shall be the guests of the State Assembly at the Candlelight Supper.”

Mrs. Cornelia Nan Holmes Massengill was a charter member of the Sabine River Chapter – Longview. She was Chapter Regent from 1966-1970 and 1973-1975, State Librarian 1969-1971 and State Second Vice-Regent 1977-1979. Mrs. Massengill passed away March 2, 1982 and left a bequest of $1000 to the Texas DAC for a Scholarship fund to be established.

For 35 consecutive years, the Texas Society has awarded the Texas Society Student Assistance Fund to deserving students. In addition, for 18 years the scholarship established by Nan Massengill was also being awarded. In 2000, it was proposed and passed, that because both funds were small, they would be combined, along with the Educational Projects Fund, so that a better return could be made on the interest rates, and thus allowing more gifts to be presented to deserving students. At that time, the fund was renamed The Grammer-Massengill Scholarship Fund.

Each year .40 cents out of each $5 dues to the State is put towards the principal of the Scholarship fund. In 2004, the Principal of the fund was over $30,000.

Each year we give scholarships to deserving students in the area where the State Assembly is being held, using ONLY the interest gained that year. It is our greatest hope that we will be able to increase the principal of the scholarship fund substantially, so more students will be helped by our donations.

Sources:

  • Crews, D’Anne McAdams, comp and ed. Daughters of the American Colonists in Texas—a History of the Texas Society 1930-1979. Huntsville, Texas: n.p., 1979.
  • Linda Ludecke, “The Grammer-Massengill Scholarship Fund” (speech, Texas State Assembly, Fort Worth, Texas, February 21-22, 2004).
  • Texas Society Daughters of the American Colonists Bylaws, Standing Rule No. 8.