Calvin Coolidge doesn’t get as much ink in the history books — or the election stories — as he deserves. The words “Calvin Coolidge” simply aren’t uttered enough. That’s a shame since Coolidge stood for a number of principles we esteem: civility, limited government, thrift, low taxes, federalism, and responsible citizenship.
Now the Coolidge name is about to get a powerful boost from the 17-19 year old set. That’s because of an inspiring merit scholarship to be launched this winter by the Coolidge Foundation. The scholarship honors silent Cal with criteria he prized: merit, demonstrated interest in Coolidge values and the policy debate Coolidge loved, and humility.
This nonpartisan scholarship is a four-year, full-ride, undergraduate award. The Coolidge is modeled on scholarships you may have heard of — the “Jeff,” or Jefferson, of University of Virginia, the Morehead at University of North Carolina. But Coolidge recipients may use their scholarship at any accredited American university. Wow. Any high school junior planning to pursue any academic area may apply. Winners are announced the summer after the apptlicants’ junior year.
“Coolidge’s emphasis on excellence is one Americans will welcome — since it is so profoundly American,” says Coolidge chairman and our friend Amity Shlaes. “Americans strive for a Rhodes or a Jeff. Now they’ll strive for a Coolidge, too.”
The site is here, and it contains much more information including the selection criteria, selection timeline, and application itself. The preliminary application involves providing educational information, writing two brief essays (yup, one is about Coolidge), and obtaining two letters of recommendation. The deadline to apply is March 18.