Burlington College has received a $50,000 donation from the estate of the late Jason Conway, to establish the Conway/Vance Memorial Scholarship Endowment. The Conway/Vance Endowment is the legacy of Marcia Vance and Jason Conway, of Hinesburg, two long-time faculty members at Burlington College.
During the 1970s, Vance, a graduate of Boston University, facilitated the founding of the Vermont Institute for Community Involvement (VICI), which became Burlington College. Working as Director of Student Services and then as Director of Financial Aid, she was instrumental in the College achieving accreditation. During her 35 years in teaching humanities at Burlington College, she developed the student-centered culture of the institution that remains fundamental to its core philosophy.
Conway, a military veteran, graduated from Burlington College, advancing to graduate work at Antioch New England Graduate School and the University of Vermont. He taught psychology and transpersonal psychology at the College, and served as Director of Admissions. He was a much beloved faculty member for over 30 years.
Vance and Conway met and married while teaching at Burlington College. The couple’s overwhelming passion for teaching and life-long learning had an enduring effect on the College. They lived and promoted the philosophy that education was a shared responsibility between student and teacher; that it should be open and available to anyone who was dedicated to learning.
Speaking of the scholarship program, Adam Bortz, a 1979 graduate who is now chair of the Burlington College Alumni Association, said, “It’s fantastic that they provided this opportunity, because they were both so sensitive to the needs of the students. I knew Marcia and she was so good, so dedicated to Burlington College.”
Candidates for the scholarship will be nominated by active faculty and department chairs or lead faculty in the areas of the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences. Scholarship selections and awards will be held each spring prior to graduation and funds disbursed for the following academic year.
Preference will be given to a student enrolled as a degree candidate in one of the designated academic areas, including Individualized Majors, or to a student who is a parent supporting one or more minor children.
Criteria for the scholarship also state that prospective scholarship recipients should “demonstrate financial need, exhibit dedication and determination to complete their degree program, and practice the spirit of open and progressive education in and out of the classroom.”