Damon and Mary Hickey

Damon and Mary Hickey have established an emergency scholarship fund for students who have encountered serious financial hardship. 


Retired Library Director Establishes Emergency Scholarship Fund

Endowed gift will support students who have exhausted all other options

February 25, 2013 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — Covering the cost of tuition is challenging enough for most students, but when unexpected events or family emergencies interrupt sources of funding, students may be forced to suspend their pursuit of a degree…or give up entirely.

That’s no longer the case at The College of Wooster. A new fund has been established to provide assistance for students who find themselves in dire need. Damon Hickey, retired director of libraries at Wooster, and his wife Mary, in collaboration with the Women’s Advisory Board (WAB), have established the Damon and Mary Hickey Endowed Emergency Scholarship Fund, to assist students who encounter serious financial hardship resulting from such life-changing events as loss of parental employment, serious medical conditions, death of a parent or guardian, or some other unforeseen setback.

“We wanted to do something that would directly benefit students, especially those in jeopardy of having to drop out of school because of increased financial burdens,” said Hickey, whose $30,000 endowed gift helped to establish the fund, which will enable the College to expand on its practice of working with families facing these circumstances.

Wooster’s Department of Financial Aid will screen requests by students in need, with first priority given to seniors and juniors who have exhausted all other options. Meanwhile the College’s Women’s Advisory Board is looking forward to the partnership. "We are very excited to see this become a reality," said Wendy Barlow, WAB scholarship chair. "We have talked about the establishment of such a fund for a number of years, but didn't realize how urgent the need was until we were contacted by several students last spring. They made us aware of the challenges students face when all of their funding sources have been exhausted."

The endowed fund is expected to generate an average of $1,500 per year — modest to be sure, but quite possibly enough to prevent a student from giving up on the dream of earning a degree from Wooster.

“We really hope that others will consider adding to the fund,” said Hickey. “We would love to see it grow.”

Gifts to the fund can be made payable to The College of Wooster and designated for the Damon and Mary Hickey Endowed Emergency Scholarship. All gifts should be sent to the Office of Development at The College of Wooster.