Local students have until May 9 to apply for nearly 100 new scholarships at the Rhode Island Foundation. The organization estimates students will receive an average of about $6,000.

The financial aid is through the Foundation’s new Robert G. and Joyce Andrew College Scholarship Fundwhich isnamed in honor of the late donors. The gift is the largest donation expressly for scholarships in the Foundation’s 106-year history. 

“Ensuring the legacy of generous donors who want to support the community over many years is core to the work of the Rhode Island Foundation. We are honored that Bob and Joyce Andrew trusted us to preserve their legacy with these scholarships, which will benefit so many now and well into the future. Each year these funds will make a meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of each of the many recipients,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. 

The fund will provide financial-need-based scholarships to students who pursue undergraduate study at Bryant University, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, the University of Rhode Island or the Community College of Rhode Island within three years of graduating from a Rhode Island high school, so many current college students are also eligible. The scholarships are renewable for up to three additional academic years. 

“Bob and Joyce loved Rhode Island. It was home. They recognized the importance of education, but realized most kids couldn’t afford it; they certainly couldn’t afford it when they were young. They wanted to pass along the opportunity and gift of education, yet keep it in Rhode Island,” said Drew Davies, co-executor of the Andrew estate and a friend of the couple.

The Andrews made the decision to donate a portion of their estate to the Foundation almost 25 years ago. Bob passed away in 2015 at age 81. When Joyce passed in 2018 at 84, Davies began tying up the loose ends for them. By the time the details were finalized, their gift had grown to be worth $12 million.

“Bob and Joyce would be humbled by the joy their gift will bring. The magnitude of this gift will carry on for generations and change many lives,” said Davies. “This is a celebration of their lives. Helping these students fulfill their educational dreams is their legacy.”

Married for 59 years, the Andrews grew up in Providence’s West End in the 1930s and 1940s. After Bob returned from serving with the U.S. Army in Germany, he and Joyce began investing in real estate. Joyce was a teller at Citizens Bank in Providence until her retirement. Bob had a long and successful career as a businessman, including stints at the former Fleet Bank and as a vice president of one of the largest real estate firms in Rhode Island. He then launched several small businesses and went into commercial real estate before his retirement. 

The Foundation has been offering scholarships since 1922, when the Providence High School Scholarship Fund was established. The Andrew scholarships are among $4 million in financial aid that is available this year. For more information about the Robert G. and Joyce Andrew College Scholarship Fund, visit rifoundation.org.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $98 million and awarded $76 million in grants last year. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit rifoundation.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...