On Wednesday, August 17, 1960, the Delegate Board of the Protestant Reformed Young Peoples Societies took an unprecedented step by adopting the proposal and grounds which read as follows:
The Federation Board proposes that a Scholarship Fund Program be established to provide aid for prospective ministers and teachers; which program shall be under the administration of the Federation Board.
1. There is a need for Protestant Reformed ministers and teachers.
2. The Federation is in an advantageous position to help satisfy this need.
3. At present there is no scholarship program in our churches.
This was the beginning of what is now known as the Protestant Reformed Scholarship Fund.
Immediately following the 1960 convention the Federation Board appointed a committee to draw up a constitution for the Scholarship Fund. This was a long and arduous task calling for hard work, energy and effort on the part of the members of the committee.
This proposed constitution, upon formulation, was then printed in the May, 1961 issue of Beacon Lights where a complete text can be found. The young people were at that time asked to read, discuss and to come up with constructive criticism in regard to the proposed constitution at the 1961 convention to be held in Loveland, Colorado.
At the 1961 convention in Loveland the Delegate Board was presented with the following proposal for ratification: “The Federation Board presents a Constitution of the ‘Alice Reitsma Memorial Fund’ for ratification by the Delegate Board.” This article then underwent heated debate and lively discussion in which tempers occasionally flared. In the end it was adopted with the addition of a number of changes. In the first place, the name was changed to the Protestant Reformed Scholarship Fund Committee because the majority of those present felt that memorials should not be set up to anyone except to God.
Secondly, Art. VII, 8, was deleted, thus allowing married students the right to apply for a scholarship. Thirdly, Art. VIII dealing with amendments was amended to add the sentence “Article VIII cannot be amended.”
Thus, the constitution of the Protestant Reformed Scholarship Fund was adopted only a few short years ago. What has transpired since that memorable day in Loveland, Colorado? What progress, if any, has the Scholarship Fund Committee, which was appointed at that time, made in those four years?
The Scholarship Fund Committee felt that these questions should be answered in order to bring you—our reading public—up to date.
In April of 1962, the Committee held its first meeting. At this meeting the committee drew up four very important articles which they recommended to the Federation Board for approval. The committee recommended that
1. …to assure continuity of the Scholarship Fund program, a base principle sum of five thousand dollars be established.
2. …when the goal of five thousand dollars is reached, scholarship payments shall be made from interest income and subsequent contributions only in an amount not to exceed the total of interest income and contributions.
3. …until the goal of five thousand dollars be reached, scholarship payments may be made from interest income only, at the direction of the committee upon approval of the Federation Board.
4. …the Federation Board seeks to promote interest in the Scholarship Fund and seeks means of procuring funds in addition to the yearly society assessments.
These recommendations met the approval of the Federation Board and were adopted by them without change.
On December 6, 1962, the committee again met and at this meeting recommended to the Federation Board “that a denomination wide drive be conducted to collect money for the Scholarship Fund”. As grounds for such a drive the committee felt
1. that this would bring us to our goal of five thousand dollars more quickly.
2. that it would give all our people an opportunity to participate in this program.
3. that to encourage young people to study for the ministry and the teaching profession is the responsibility of all our Protestant Reformed people.
This recommendation along with its grounds was also adopted without change by the Federation Board. The drive that consequently resulted was successfully conducted.
The results of this drive were especially encouraging because it indicated to us, the young people, that this project has the support of our parents and our Protestant Reformed friends. Your financial backing also indicates to us your moral support to the cause of the young people. This moral support the young people needed as well as your financial support. And now in return the young people along with the committee wish to thank you for your interest in the cause of the Scholarship Fund.
This drive has helped tremendously to bring us closer to our goal of five thousand dollars. As of January 29, 1964, the amount collected was two thousand, nine hundred, thirty-eight dollars and sixty-three cents. Since then convention assessment of two dollars per society member has raised this figure to the vicinity of thirty-five hundred dollars. The committee feels that the end is in sight and that within another year or two, at the most, scholarships can be granted to Protestant Reformed Young People from the interest collected each year.
The amount of interest collected each year will be small but it will be available every year. The beginning may be small but let us remember that it is a beginning; and that with the Lord’s blessing it will eventually by sufficient to supply much needed aid to many Protestant Reformed Scholars.
The committee and the young people are thankful that the Lord has blessed this cause and we further believe that your financial and moral support has helped make this Scholarship Fund possible. We covet your continued support in the future.