The William (Widdy) Neale Scholarship Fund, Inc. is administered by the Connecticut State Golf Association and since inception has awarded $3.0 million in scholarship aid to 561 high school seniors. Although the program was originally organized to benefit caddies, the applicant pool has been expanded to include graduating seniors employed at CSGA member clubs in various capacities (golf shop, caddies, clubhouse workers, grounds staff) who have worked for at least one golf season and who continue to be employed in the current year. Depending on a recipient’s academic good standing and continuing financial need, the scholarships may be renewed for three additional years.
The CSGA began awarding college scholarships in 1954 deriving funds from a one dollar charge included in the then handicap fee. Today, the CSGA member service fee continues to be the primary source of scholarship funds. Then CSGA Executive Director William (Widdy) Neale and scholarship committee chairman and later (1962-63) CSGA President James Killington are credited with convincing the CSGA Executive Committee to establish this Scholarship Fund. Through the efforts of Attorney Herbert Emanuelson, Jr. (CSGA President 1973-74) the Fund was incorporated as a not-for-profit, charitable organization in 1985-86 and named for Widdy Neale. Yale graduate Widdy Neale was a career Yale University sports administrator and CSGA Executive Director from 1946-86.
Contact Dick Zanini, Managing Director of the Widdy Neale Scholarship Fund: E-Mail
The Fund administration is coordinated and financially supported by the CSGA. The Bob Pryde Scholarship Fund administered by The Community Foundation For Greater New Haven is a significant annual contributor to the Fund. Robert D. Pryde was the first Executive Director of the CSGA from 1922 to 1946. The Junior-Senior Golfing Society of Connecticut contributes scholarship funding in honor of their past Executive Director Harry Keffer. The Connecticut State Seniors Golf Association, the Senior Golfers of Connecticut, and the New England Senior Golfers' Association are three organizations that also annually contribute to the Fund.
Another important source of funding is the Fund's "donor recognition" program for individual contributions at the Bronze level of $50 to $199, the Silver level of $200 to $999, the Gold level of $1,000 to $4,999, and the Platinum level of $5,000 and above. Such donors have their names published in the CSGA magazine "The Connecticut Golfer, " receive scholarship bagtags, and at the Silver level receive CSGA-Scholarship Fund golf caps, and at the Gold level have a scholarship awarded in their names, and at the Platinum level donors are recognized at the CSGA Annual Meeting.
CSGA Past President Richard Zanini serves as Managing Director of the Fund. Going forward the CSGA hopes to increase scholarship funding by encouraging member clubs to make additional contributions to augment the fund at a time when more club employees are applying for assistance and when college costs are dramatically increasing.
1. Young men and women who have been employed at a CSGA member club for a minimum period of one full golf season and who will be employed at a member club in the current year. Employment eligibility includes caddie, golf shop staff, grounds/maintenance worker, and clubhouse, dining room, locker room, or other appropriate assignment.
2. Graduating high school senior in the current year who demonstrates good character and citizenship.
3. Demonstrated volunteer service in the school and in the community.
4. Demonstrated financial need in order to attend college.
5. At least three letters of recommendation from: a club officer or employing official; a teacher, principal, or guidance counselor; and a community member who knows the applicant well enough to write such a reference.
6. The recommendation of the CSGA appointed Club Representative.
7. Each CSGA member club is limited to one recommended applicant annually.
For information, contact the CSGA representative at the member club or the CSGA office, 35 Cold Spring Road, Suite 212, Rocky Hill, CT 06067. Telephone 860-257-4171 or Fax 860-257-8355.