With a new school year sneaking up on Maclay upper school students as the second semester commences, Head of School James Milford had an idea for how he could relieve some of the pressure for the rising freshmen entering Maclay next year. Milford created an opportunity called The Head of School Scholarship Program. This program is a merit-based award and it will add to an already robust need-based tuition assistance program at Maclay. The merit-based scholarships will provide tuition, technology, books, trips and fees, and will be renewed each year for up to four years to recipients who continue to meet the eligibility requirements. Maclay School is accepting applications now, and the first two scholarships will be awarded in March of 2022 for the 2022-23 school year. 

The Head of School Scholarship Program was created with an anonymous five million dollar gift to Maclay. This gift was donated to create a scholarship along with an academic competition program. The program is focused on providing academic opportunities and competitions for lower and middle school students in the Greater Leon County Area. 

“The generosity of the donors is inspiring,” School Board of Trustee Chair Murray Moore said in a press release. “This gift will open doors and enhance our ability to build on the Maclay experience. The impact will be felt immediately and in perpetuity, and the entire Maclay community is excited and grateful.”

This program will challenge and invite incoming freshmen from all around Leon County to come to Maclay and work hard for a chance to apply for the scholarship. This scholarship is unique compared to any other because of its specific qualities that contestants must meet to receive the scholarship. Some of these qualities sought in the Head of School Scholarship include superior academic performance,  previously demonstrated excellence in citizenship and character, a history of involvement in activities within their school and community and demonstration of significant promise to contribute to the overall life at Maclay School, both inside and outside the classroom. 

“This has been on the wish list for many years, however, it takes an amazingly generous donor to make it happen,” Milford said. “I believe it will inspire other donors to do similar things for our students. This opportunity will change the lives of many students who a Maclay experience would have never been an option without it.”

This scholarship and opportunity for rising ninth graders will both raise the profile of the school in the community and provide opportunities to students for as long as the doors of the school are open. In order to establish this award, Milford and his team have created a marketing campaign to get the word out and an application and interview process. They are also currently seeking to hire someone to help with facilitating the impact of the endowment gift.

“We have always been committed to helping motivated families make a Maclay education a reality,” Director of Admission Michael Obrecht said in a press release. “But with this gift, we hope to build even more pathways for inspired and determined students to take part in the Maclay experience.”