Graduating high school seniors with financial need from one of the high schools of Pittsfield, Mass. who are residents of Pittsfield, Mass. Eligible applicants will be entering their first year of a two- or four-year college or university.


The Tom Giddings Memorial Scholarship was established in 1991 in memory of Tom Giddings, who was born and raised in Pittsfield, Mass. After graduating from Brown University in June 1963, Tom entered Boston College Law School in the fall of that year. Fairly early, he realized that the practice of law was not what he wanted to do with his life. After completion of his first year, Tom joined the Peace Corps in the summer of 1964.

Following his Peace Corps assignment in Kenya, Tom was named Associate Peace Corps Director in Ghana and from 1967-1969 he developed and supervised programs involving community development, agriculture, credit unions and cooperatives. He also established a successful cooperative program in Cameroon.

Tom returned to school in 1969 and obtained a master’s degree in Public Administration and Economic Development from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971. Following completion of his masters, Tom coordinated the College Discovery Program at Montclair State College, an alternative education program offering college preparatory work for educationally and economically disadvantaged servicemen and women.

The most memorable characteristic of Tom Giddings was his combination of leadership with humility. Tom was modest and unassuming, never placing his self-interest above others. For that reason, he inspired immense trust, admiration and affection from others. Tom led by example and by his unselfish team orientation and genuine concern for others. This unusual and effective combination became the defining characteristic of his service. Tom was a man of great perseverance and energy.

Scholarship recipients will have embodied Tom Giddings’ qualities of unselfish leadership and service to the local community and have demonstrated academic achievement, a strong work ethic, exceptional dedication to their area of interest, and an ability to overcome challenges.

Apply for this scholarship using our common application by March 15.