When Judy Friedman Daniels ’59 endowed a scholarship at Deerfield Academy on the occasion of her husband’s seventieth birthday, she designed it to help middle-income students. Two years later, her husband, Aaron Daniels, surprised her on her own seventieth birthday with the Judy Friedman Daniels 1959 Scholarship Fund at Mount Holyoke College.
“Scholarship aid was obviously an initiative I believed in, but I had no idea Aaron was setting up a fund in my honor at Mount Holyoke. Like the scholarship at Deerfield, this one supports middle-income students. Traditionally, there have been more scholarships available for lower income students, but today middle-income families are being squeezed more than ever. Part of it is the economy with a number of formerly employed parents out of work, but also many parents of college-age children are helping to care for their own parents. There is just less money to go around for college.”
The scholarship also was established in conjunction with Judy’s 50th reunion, which she attended. “I was especially impressed by the Speaking, Arguing, and Writing Program that is part of the Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts. I wish we’d had that when I was a student.”
Looking back on her student years, Judy recalls Mount Holyoke as a wonderful academic experience. Coming from a large public high school in Westchester County, New York, she remembers being “astounded by the caliber of the curriculum and the professors. I also made lifelong friendships. My two Mount Holyoke roommates, Miriam Deinard Kelen ’59 and Jane Chandler Weiss ’59, remain my closest friends and the three of us hiked up Yosemite for several days to celebrate our seventieth birthdays.”
Aaron, likewise, has the highest regard for a Mount Holyoke education. Though he and Judy didn’t meet until after she’d graduated, he had grown up in neighboring Holyoke. His mother, a physician, cared for Mount Holyoke students, and his sister, Ruth, attended the College before her marriage. “I go back a long way with Mount Holyoke and always found it to be a wonderful institution. Then and now, the people are just terrific.”
For both Judy and Aaron, the scholarship means helping other students access a Mount Holyoke education. “We both feel strongly about this scholarship endowment,” says Judy. “It’s gratifying to be able to help someone else experience all that Mount Holyoke has to offer.”