AAUW Pendleton Branch Scholarship to Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC)
In 2005-2006, the AAUW of Pendleton branch announced a new project: awarding a $500 scholarship through Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC). The recipient of the scholarship was given a student membership in AAUW, invited to all local meetings, and asked to attend at least one Branch meeting, and for the 2012-2013 school year, the Pendleton Branch was able to increase its annual local scholarship to $1,000.
Scholarship applications are reviewed and sorted by the BMCC Foundation Scholarship committee. This committee is made up of faculty members and board members who volunteer their time over the summer to review all the scholarship applications. The AAUW Pendleton scholarship is open for a woman “of a certain age” who has completed at least one year of college, has an excellent GPA, and who is recommended by her instructors for her initiative and leadership skills. The recipient is chosen by the Foundation committee based on this criteria provided by the Pendleton Branch.
AAUW Amy Bedford Scholarship for GED students at BMCC
In 2010, the Pendleton AAUW Branch honored one of its own members with the creation of the AAUW Amy Bedford Scholarship for GED students through Blue Mountain Community College.
Amy Bedford died in July 2006 in Pendleton at the age of 94. She was an owner of East Oregonian Publishing Company which owned and operated several newspapers in Oregon and Washington. She led the drive over three decades to create the River Parkway which runs along the banks of the Umatilla River through Pendleton. She was the prime mover in creation of the Arts Center of Pendleton – a restoration of the town’s Carnegie Library. She was a founding member of the Oregon East Symphony. She was hailed as a visionary by Pendleton civic leaders and received the Governor’s Arts Award in 1988.
Her mother, Elsie Aldrich, although not a college graduate and not eligible for membership, was the main reason that Pendleton has an AAUW chapter. The following is an acknowledgement in the first branch scrapbook:
For many years, Mrs. Edwin B. (Elsie) Aldrich had foreseen the value to Pendleton in having a group of women affiliated with state and national organizations whose prime objective was the furtherance of educational opportunities for women. Mrs. Aldrich discussed the matter with many local university women. Through her earnest and sincere enthusiasm for the organizing of an American Association of University Women, a group of eligible women were encouraged to complete organization of a local branch on October 5, 1930. To Mrs. Aldrich, the members of the Pendleton Branch of American Association of University Women express their deep appreciation and have authorized recording of such action in this History.
AAUW of Pendleton pledged half of the cost of taking the GED test for two worthy candidates each year, for a period of five years, starting in 2011. The plan will be modified as needed in 2016. Every school year $50 can be awarded each to two GED students to help cover the expense of taking the test. If the amount of the testing increases, AAUW Pendleton will increase the award amount. The award is based on the current system that the BMCC Foundation uses to award GED scholarships, namely a strong recommendation from the GED instructor(s) based on the hard work and “worthiness” of the student. First choice for the recipient would be a woman, but if no “worthy” female candidates have applied then a male student would be eligible for the scholarship.
The Branch agreed that during years when BMCC had other funding specifically directed towards GED testing (monies from Community Action Program of East Central Oregon (CAPECO)) then the Amy Bedford award would be available to cover the cost of either a student success class or a college readiness class for those women who have passed their GED.