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HARRY AND ELEANOR D. NELSON VACAVILLE ENDOWMENT FUND

Established: Feb 28, 2008

2021 NELSON SCHOLARSHIP CYCLE TO OPEN IN LATE AUGUST

The application period for this years' cycle will open in August 2021.  SCF continue's to navigate through the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had and still has on school openings, formats, and schedules. 

We are working with Wizehive, Inc. a scholarship application management platform, in an effort to automate our scholarship application procedures.  We ask that eligible graduating seniors from the Class of 2021 continue to check this fund page during the next few months.  This page is where we will post updated information about our Nelson Scholarship program and provide the information (and links) needed to access the online application platform.

2020 NELSON FUND SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS

For 2020 awards, SCF was not able to provide 4-year automatically renewable Harry and Eleanor D. Nelson scholarships to the class of 2020 students.  Due to COVID-19 constraints and considerations, we had to make changes to our 'normal' Scholarship Fund Cycle and procedures. We celebrated the Class of 2020 by offering a larger number of renewable Nelson Fund scholarships to eligible 2020 applicants.  The Briggs, Powell, and Harry and Eleanor D. Nelson Scholarships were awarded at $2,500 each and  recipients who meet the  annual renewal requirements are eligible to apply for additional scholarship payments of $2,500 each year, for the next three years. 

All new and renewal 2020 Scholarship Recipients must complete and return a Student Enrollment Verification Form.  Students awarded a Nelson 4-year (renewable) scholarship are required to submit a verification form each year.  The 2021-2022 form will be available in June for those renewal recipients to download and submit.  Type information directly on the form and return it to SCF electronically as an email attachment.  

2019 NELSON FUND SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

Harry and Eleanor D. Nelson Scholarship - $20,000 each ($5,00 per year for 4 years)
High School Student Name Major or Career University
Vacaville H.S. Daniel Gonzalez Chemistry & Computer Science UC Berkeley
Will C. Wood Kendal Hiemke Public Health UC Davis
Will C. Wood Christion Jones Business Univ of San Francisco
Will C. Wood Dena Liu Biology UC Los Angeles
Will C. Wood Grace Pessagno Human Biology UC Santa Cruz
       
Auldin Briggs Achievement Scholarship - $2,000 each
High School Student Name Major or Career University
Buckingham Charter M.H.S. Dylan Ocampo Gender Studies Solano Community College
       
Grace B. Powell V.H.S Scholarship - $5,000
High School Student Name Major or Career University
Vacaville H.S. Daniel Gonzalez Chemistry & Computer Science UC Berkeley
 

2018 NELSON FUND SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

Harry and Eleanor D. Nelson Scholarship - $14,000 each ($3,500 per year for 4 years)
High School Student Name Major or Career University
Vacaville Alyssa Barling Nursing Dominican University of California
Buckingham Charter M.H.S. Ruth Bowen Business Cal Lutheran University
Will C. Wood  Jenna Kitzes Musical Theater CSU Chico
Buckingham Charter M.H.S. Zoe Johnson Biology UC Davis
Buckingham Charter M.H.S. Asia Lew-Douglas History CSU Sacramento
Will C. Wood Brette Alana Stout International Studies & Jazz Studies University of the Pacific
Will C. Wood Sarah Williamson Microbiology UC Davis
       
Auldin Briggs Achievement Scholarship - $2,500 each
High School Student Name Major or Career University
Buckingham Charter M.H.S. Isaiah Mercado-Acosta Journalism & Government CSU Sacramento
Vacaville Macguire Buss Criminal Justice CSU Chico
       
Grace B. Powell V.H.S. Scholarship - $5,000
High School Student Name Major or Career University
Vacaville Corey Kato Chemical Engineering UC Los Angeles


FUND HISTORY & PURPOSE

Originally named “Vacaville Community Foundation” by Harry and Eleanor D. Nelson in 1967, this fund focused on benefitting Vacaville residents. Technically not a “community foundation,” but a private foundation, the Nelsons promoted education through the granting of scholarships to seniors in Vacaville high schools for college and postgraduate study. The secondary purpose was, and still is to promote public recreation, preservation of the environment, and preservation of historical records and relics.

In 2008, this private foundation dissolved and moved the assets to a new endowed scholarship fund at the Solano Community Foundation. SCF is now the successor and administrator of The Harry and Eleanor D. Nelson Vacaville Endowment Fund and their scholarship program. 

Historically, most of the funds distributed have been as scholarship awards. Initially, grants made were one-time, non-renewable awards of a few hundred dollars to a handful of students.

Now, decades later, SCF awards ten scholarships annually to deserving high school seniors: seven 4-year "Nelson" scholarships (totaling $14,000 each), one $5,000 "Powell" scholarship, and two "Briggs" scholarships ($2,500 each). 

Harry and Eleanor D. Nelson - A BRIEF HISTORY

Harry Nelson graduated from the University of California at Davis and was an agriculturalist with landholdings in the Vacaville area. 

His wife, Eleanor Dexter Nelson, a native of Lodi, graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She began teaching in Vacaville in 1920 and retired from teaching Spanish and English at Vacaville High School in 1951. During her "retirement," Mrs. Nelson devoted her energies to community service, including inauguration of a city recreational program for youth, organization of Fiesta Days, and the establishment of the Vacaville Museum.

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