Mortar Board Alumni/Tolo Foundation Scholarship Award Descriptions

For many decades, Seattle’s Mortar Board alumni have awarded scholarships to distinguished University of Washington students. Mortar Board Alumni/Tolo Foundation’s named scholarships are the result of significant gifts honoring or memorializing esteemed Mortar Board alumni. The following Foundation scholarship funds awarded a total of $51,550 In the 2019/2020 academic year.

Bernthine Leiren  Anderson/ Dorin Schuler Scholarship (1984; unrestricted):       

Bernthine, born in a small village north of Bergen, Norway, immigrated to Seattle in 1911. Although she had little formal education, she raised two daughters and encouraged them to excel in school, to develop their talents, and to become leaders. Both daughters and her only granddaughter were elected to Mortar Board at the  University of Washington. Her family established this scholarship in honor of their mother, who inspired all by the marvelous quality of her womanhood.

Margaret Shaw Anderson Scholarship (1983; student demonstrating compassion for people):

Margaret, born in 1929, attended the University of Washington and in 1950, joined the Sacred Heart order as a nun. She left the order in 1957 and married Larry Anderson, who was a widower with three small children and the associate editor of the Seattle Times’ Pacific Magazine. They became parents of two more children.  Margaret and Larry began a Seattle Times column, “The Middle Years” in 1976.  Margaret and Larry devoted their lives to working with troubled youth and directed a drop-center, Heads Up.

Margaret joined the University of Washington Women’s Guidance Center and subsequently started her own counseling center, the Individual Development Center, Inc., on Capitol Hill. In 1976, she was invited to join the University of Washington Medical School, and was the first to teach students how to interview patients. She later became the first counselor at the medical school.

Elizabeth Ayers Scholarship (1990; unrestricted):      

Elizabeth, born in 1905, received both a B.A. and M.A. in American History from the University of Washington, where she was tapped for Mortar Board. She was one of the first married teachers in the Seattle School System, and her teaching career spanned 44 years. She was described as dynamic, witty, intelligent, and a joy to be around, and she devoted her life to many community organizations. She became especially known for her lively book reviews. Elizabeth believed deeply in Mortar Board, and through her estate, she established this scholarship.

Madeline Jones Campbell Scholarship (2001; outstanding Communications graduate student; selected from   departmental nominees):

Madeline majored in advertising at the University of Washington, graduating magna cum laude in 1948.  While on campus, she was a student leader earning membership in  W-Key, Totem Club, and Phrateres. She served on the ASUW Board of Control and was selected for several honor societies, including Mortar Board.  After her marriage to Richard Campbell, she involved herself in many community activities in Olympia, raised her four children, became a licensed practical nurse, and was the Lighthouse Keeper at Olympia’s Dofflemeyer Point. Her family established this scholarship in her memory.

Music Performance Scholarship (1987; outstanding student in Music Performance; selected from departmental nominees):

Proceeds from an initial Meany Hall benefit concert, performed by Mortar Board alumna and international concert pianist Robin McCabe (now professor of piano at the UW School of Music), started this endowed scholarship. The endowment has been increased through donations and subsequent benefit performances by pianists Robin McCabe, Rachelle McCabe, and Béla Siki.

Dr. Eleanor Hadley Scholarship (1995; outstanding student in International Studies; selected from departmental nominees):

Eleanor received her B.A. in Politics, Economics, and Philosophy from Mills College, where she was elected to Palladium (Mills College equivalent to Mortar Board). Following her graduation, she studied the Japanese language in Tokyo, traveled throughout East Asia, and in the fall of 1941, began her Ph.D. in Economics at Radcliffe College, where her studies were interrupted by World War II. Eleanor was invited to work with the U.S. State Department, and was transferred to become a member of General Douglas MacArthur’s staff, where she was a principal in drafting the economic portion of the guide to policy during the occupation of Japan. In 1947, following WWII,

Eleanor completed her Radcliff/Harvard Ph.D, and served on many economic commissions for the U.S. government. She served with distinction on the faculties of Smith College, George Washington University, and the University of Washington, published numerous journal articles, and wrote a landmark work, Antitrust in Japan.  She received many awards and honors, including the Sacred Treasure of the Third Order from the Emperor of Japan. She was named to Who’s Who of American Women and received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Mills College and honorary membership in Mortar Board.

Margaret Hadley Scholarship (1979; outstanding student in Educational Psychology or the Experimental Educational Unit, who plans a career in pre-school education; selected from departmental nominees) 

Margaret, a math/physics double major, was selected for Tolo Club’s first tapped class in 1910. She married Homer Hadley, a civil engineer who designed and sited the world’s first floating concrete bridge (I-90). (The companion I_90 bridge, which opened  in 1989 was subsequently named for him through the successful statewide effort of Mortar Board Alumni/Tolo Foundation.) After raising her two children, Margaret earned her Master of Education in 1949 and subsequently became director of Seattle Public School’s demonstration nursery school at Yesler Terrace. On Margaret’s 90th birthday, her children, Richard and Eleanor, endowed this scholarship in her name.

Ruth and Marshall McDonald Scholarship (Established 1997)

Ruth graduated from Miami University (Ohio), where she was a member of Mortar Board. She, together with several college friends, taught school in the Hawaiian Islands, and subsequently all friends accepted teaching positions in Seattle. It was in Seattle that Ruth met Marshall, and after their 1953 marriage, both went to the Pribilof Islands (north of the Aleutians) to teach. Fortunately for us, they returned to Seattle.  Ruth resumed her teaching career after raising their children. She has given much in leadership and service to Seattle’s Mortar Board alumni, and has been active in other community organizations.

Willa and John O’Connor Scholarship

Whether she was climbing Mount Rainier at 55, hitting the ski slopes in her 80s or penning articles about outdoor exploits, Willa O’Connor’s positive zest for adventure and life were undiminished by age.  A past president of Seattle’s Mortar Board alumni, Willa hosted large, inclusive Thanksgiving dinners for UW international students and enjoyed an active writing career.

Arnold and Carolyn Bryant Peterson Scholarship (1987; outstanding undergraduate, not freshman):

Carolyn graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Speech in 1942. She did graduate work at the University of Michigan and the University of Missouri.  Arnold graduated from the University of Toledo (Ohio) with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He earned an M.S. in 1937 at MIT and a Ph.D. in 1941.  The Petersons, married in 1943, lived in Massachusetts until they retired in 1979 and moved to Bainbridge Island. Since education always has been important to the Bryant and Peterson families, they established this scholarship. Carolyn continued her involvement in Seattle’s Mortar Board alumni, serving on the scholarship selection committee, and she spearheaded a drive to update membership records for the 1940s.

Margery R. Phillips Scholarship (outstanding student in College of Built Environments; selected from departmental nominees):

Mortar Board alumna Margery R. Phillips, a University of Washington graduate, was one of the most extensively published local architectural writers. As a Seattle Times journalist and editor, she was highly influential in creating a popular base for the acceptance of quality modern residential design. She was instrumental in establishing the Seattle Times/AIA Home of the Month program in 1953 and initiated the program — the first of its kind in the country —  with the organization then known as the Washington State Chapter of The American Institute of Architects (now AIA). Margery wrote the monthly features for the first two decades of the program. That enduring partnership also established the reputation of some of the region’s most well-known  architects through the attention focused on their work by the feature. In appreciation of her many outstanding contributions to architecture, Margery was made an honorary member of AIA. She also was a national editor for other publications.

Betty Benson Runstad Scholarship (2005; outstanding student in Nutritional Science, selected from departmental nominees):

Betty and her family have given much distinguished leadership and service to the Northwest and have steadfastly demonstrated their deep commitment to the University. Betty’s grandfather was an early Seattle mayor and King County Superior Court Judge; her father, a University of Washington chemistry professor; her son, a UW regent. A pillar of her family as well as this region, Mortar Board alumna Betty chose Nutritional Science, her major field, as the focus of this scholarship.

Dorothea Taylor Scholarship (1968; outstanding student in science):

Dorothea, born in 1899, graduated from Broadway High School and the University of Washington, where she was Senior Class President and a member of Tolo Club. She received her Master of Science in Zoology with a major in Bacteriology in 1921.  Upon graduation, Dorothea taught school and subsequently became Senior Bacteriologist for the Seattle-King County Health Department for 40 years. She continued her interest in volunteer activities and was involved in many organizations, including the Seattle Art Museum, AAUW, Women’s University Club, and Society of American Bacteriologists.

Priscilla Renwick Trzcinski / Margaret Trzcinski Graham Scholarship (1982; student pursuing a career in world peace and understanding):

Born in 1918, Margaret graduated from the University of Washington in 1939, where she was Treasurer of Tolo Chapter and an avid Husky supporter.  Upon graduation, Margaret worked for the FBI before her marriage to Robert W. Graham.  She was a docent for the Seattle Art Museum and involved in P.E.O. and the Seattle Opera Guild.  She also was an avid snow skier and swimmer and continued to swim daily in Lake Washington until her late 80s.  In 1982, Margaret and her family established the Trzcinski-Graham scholarship in honor of her mother, Priscilla Renwick Trzcinski, who graduated from the UW at the age of 65, living a life of public service.  The scholarship additionally honored Margaret in 2011.

Tolo Heritage Scholarship

The Carrie Cowgill Thompson, Florence Wiltsie, and Cassie Bryant scholarships have been combined into a Heritage Scholarship to honor these pioneer members of Tolo.

Carrie Cowgill Thompson (Established 1969)

Carrie was the first woman to receive a scholarship at the University of Washington, and was the primary moving force behind the founding of Tolo Club (which is now Tolo Chapter of Mortar Board).  She was active on campus, serving as president of the YWCA. Carrie, with the assistance of other Tolo Club members, started the first campus dining room where the co-eds might gather.  She married Dr. Alfred L. Thompson, and after his death, she hosted many events, especially for foreign students, in her University District home. As an active member of Mortar Board Alumni, the UW Alumni Association, and the American Association of University Women, she continued to promote scholarships and to find a spot on the campus for women to call their own.

Florence Reynolds Wiltsie  (Established 1979)                      

Florence graduated cum laude with a teaching degree from the UW in 1911.  She later obtained her master’s degree in English and journalism at the University. While at the UW, she was YWCA president, named to Phi Beta Kappa and selected for Tolo Club’s first tapped class. Florence was the chair of Tolo’s highly successful, first “girl ask boy” dance (originally considered a “scandalous idea” by some in the community). Proceeds from the Tolo Dance began the student loan fund for women. With Carrie Cowgill Thompson, and Margaret Floyd Hadley, she started the first dining room for women. Florence pursued her teaching career, reluctantly retiring at the age of 82.  One of her lifetime concerns was the welfare of foreign students at the University.  She, along with Margaret and Carrie, would prepare dinners in their homes for foreign students. Florence was active in Seattle’s Mortar Board Alumni until her death at 90 years of age.

Cassie Bryant (Established 1981)  

Cassie entered the University of Washington in 1913, and she was very active in campus actvities, athletics, and the campus newspaper. She was tapped for Tolo Club in her junior year, 10 years before Tolo Club became part of Mortar Board.  However, before her initiation, she married ASUW President Clarence Bryant. They moved to New York, where she attended Columbia University. After 35 moves, the Bryants returned to Seattle in 1943, and Cassie attended the UW along with her daughter, finished her degree, and was officially initiated into Mortar Board.

Tolo Scholarship (unrestricted, general)

Centennial Scholarship (student excelling in scholarship, leadership, and service)

This scholarship has been funded by the University of Washington’s Tolo Chapter of Mortar Board to honor the centennial of Tolo’s founding as a UW honor society in 1909.