After a lifetime of service, Lowell resident Betsy Davidson passed away last year after a long battle with cancer. It’s unlikely that anyone who knew Betsy will ever forget her, and now the Rotary Club of Lowell has created two scholarship programs that will help keep her memory alive for generations to come.
“A lot of people wanted to find a way to honor her legacy and her tenacity,” explains Amanda Rogers, treasurer of the Rotary Club of Lowell. Betsy was a member and officer of the Rotary Club and exemplified its motto of “Service Above Self.”
Club members decided to raise money for a scholarship to be awarded annually in Betsy’s name. At least $80,000 was needed to create a scholarship program, but thanks to the generosity of the community, including one supporter who matched donations, $120,000 was raised. That amount allowed the Lowell Rotary Club to create two new scholarships for Lowell students:
- Betsy Davidson Memorial Scholarship (IT/Computer Science): This $1,000 scholarship is renewable for four years and will be awarded to a student pursuing an education in IT or computer science.
- Betsy Davidson Memorial Scholarship (Trade School): This one-year $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student attending a trade or technical school.
In total, Lowell Rotary Club offers a dozen scholarships to Lowell graduates. In addition to the Betsy Davidson Memorial Scholarships, these include the following:
- Hahn/Rotary Club of Lowell Scholarship — $1,000, renewable for four years
- King & Marie Doyle Family Scholarship – Five $1,000 scholarships available, each renewable for four years
- Dorothy & Clinton Christoff Family Scholarship — $1,000, renewable for four years for a student attending Cornerstone University
- Eva & Lee Lampkin Scholarship — $1,000, renewable for four years.
- Jim & Bobbie White Family Scholarship – $500, renewable for three years for a student enrolled in an education degree program
- Donald & Ellura McPherson Scholarship – Two $500 scholarships available, each renewable for two years for students attending Grand Rapids Community College
All Lowell Seniors Invited to Apply
All seniors who attend Lowell High School, including schools of choice students, are eligible for the scholarships offered by the Rotary Club of Lowell. All students who live within the Lowell Area Schools boundaries are also eligible, which means those who are homeschooled or attend a private high school can also apply.
The club is looking for the following as they review applications, according to a press release from the organization:
Scholarships are centered on the Rotary motto, Service Above Self. Along with an application, students are asked to submit an essay describing their volunteer activities; who was served and how the experiences have impacted their life. They should include all school and non-school service-related activities like student government, sports, choir, clubs, church, work, etc.
“We like to support the kids who have a service-minded outlook,” Rogers notes. Students who are finalists may be invited to an interview with the scholarship committee.
The club also appreciates hearing from scholarship recipients as they complete their studies. “We encourage the kids who have gotten a scholarship to come to a meeting each year,” Rogers says.
Since it first launched its scholarship program in 1997, the Rotary Club of Lowell has awarded more than 110 scholarships totaling more than $320,000.
Scholarship applications can be found in the following locations:
- Lowell High School guidance office
- Lowell and Alto branches of Kent District Library
- Lowell Rotary website under the “Downloads” section of the home page.
All applications must be submitted to the LHS guidance office or postmarked by March 16, 2023.