The Ruth C. Scudder Scholarship was founded by the Women’s Society of Central Union Church in 1915, with gifts from members and friends, as a memorial to Mrs. Ruth C. Scudder, the wife of Dr. Doremus Scudder, a pastor of Central Union Church for many years. In the original resolution, unanimously passed by the Women’s Society at its annual meeting in 1915, there is the following statement:
“When the fund shall have reached $1000.00, the income there from shall be used annually under the direction of the Educational Committee, toward the education of some deserving girl of Hawaii.”
For some years it has been a competitive scholarship awarded annually to a young woman enrolled at the University of Hawaii. The Committee considered the applicants from several standpoints: character, scholarship, financial need, service to the University, probable future service to the community, and of course, Christian religious interest.
Amounts granted varied from $25.00 to $200.00 annually according to need and University tuition. Until 1952, when the University tuition was raised from $150.00 to $200.00 a year, it was possible to offer a full scholarship annually, but for a time after that, the income from the investments was insufficient to offer a full scholarship every year. However, as the endowment was increased, an annual scholarship was once again available. By the mid-1980s the award had grown to $1000.00.
For many years only three or four members administered the Scudder Fund. As new scholarships were established, this small group grew into the Women’s League Educational Aid and Scholarship Committee.