The Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Fund’s mission is to empower young women to be leaders and active world citizens through education and service. Our annual college scholarships to Mercer Island High School graduating senior women acknowledge and support those who demonstrate a commitment to the values of Stanley Ann Dunham, including:
- Social activism
- Global citizenship
- Academic excellence
“Did you know that President Obama’s mother graduated from Mercer Island High School?” Harry Leavitt (MIHS 1965) asked Tony Nugent (MIHS 1958). Tony was intrigued. He began to conduct research about Stanley Ann Dunham.
The more Tony researched, the more he realized how extraordinary Dunham was. In addition to being the mother of the 44th president, she earned her Doctorate in Anthropology and she pioneered a microfinancing model that is still in use today around the world.
It seemed fitting to honor Dunham’s memory locally by presenting a scholarship in her name to Mercer Island seniors who demonstrated her values in education, leadership and community service. With the help of Harry and others, Tony approached Dunham’s classmates, MIHS alumns, and residents of Mercer Island. Together they created the Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Fund in 2010, 50 years after Stanley Ann Dunham graduated from MIHS.
Since that time, we have awarded 13 scholarships to outstanding young women from MIHS and will be expanding our efforts by offering a scholarship at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle.