Carleton is practically a member of the family to Dawn Scott Grench ’83, who grew up in Northfield and can count more than 30 relatives as fellow Carleton alumni—stretching from her grandfather, Irvin Scott from the Class of 1909, to her daughter Eva Grench, Class of 2019.
Because Carleton has meant so much to their family, Grench decided to give back. “I really reaped the benefits from having Carleton as my neighbor when I was growing up,” she says. “I went to plays and concerts at Carleton, and I cross-country skied in the arboretum. There was just so much good at Carleton from my past that it seemed like the obvious thing to do.”
She asked her daughter’s opinion on what the family should support, and Eva suggested whichever area the college felt would help its students most. Since Carleton has recently made increasing financial aid for middle-income students a priority, Grench decided to establish an endowed scholarship.
It was opportune timing. In honor of Carleton’s 150th anniversary, Barbara Weitz ’70 and Wally Weitz ’70 had issued the 1866 Scholarship Match, a $20 million challenge that matches all new commitments from $100,000 to $2.5 million that create or add to an existing scholarship fund. With the match, Dawn doubled the impact of her newly created Scott Family Endowed Scholarship.
“I’m a firm believer in good education, and it saddens me that money could be a barrier to that,” Dawn says. “I’ve heard that middle-income students often end up getting squeezed out of financial assistance opportunities, so I wanted to help fill that hole.”
Dawn now lives in St. Louis, Missouri, but with Eva still on campus as a computer science major, the Scott Grench family connection to Carleton remains strong. Dawn also contributed a signal gift to the music and performance commons addition to the Weitz Center, and a newly installed bench on campus memorializes her late husband and Eva’s father, Bruce Grench ’82, who died in 2014. And with two younger siblings at home, Eva might not be the last of the family to continue that bond.
“Carleton is really woven into the fabric of our life,” Dawn says.