Somebody with a wry appreciation for the so-called Golden Age of television has been throwing anonymous lifelines to Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High students who have both financial need and middling grades, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

From the story:


Thanks to an anonymous donor, R-FH students can apply for a scholarship that will pay for a full ride to any four-year college or university outside of New Jersey.

But, there’s a unique catch. Unlike many scholarships that value academic superiority, this one seeks out a different breed of student.

Applicants must be in “average academic standing” — equivalent of a B or C average — and demonstrate financial need. The scholarship aims to help students who otherwise would not be able to attend college, according to the local anonymous donor.

The scholarship was inspired by a family member of the donor who was an average student in school, but had a mentor who provided inspiration to succeed.

The donor requires the scholarship winner to attend college outside of New Jersey to encourage them to be a more well-rounded and worldly person.

The scholarship, which is paid for by the JAM Anonymous Fund, is now in its fourth year.

It’s called the John Beresford Tipton Scholarship, named for a fictional TV character from the 1950s show ‘The Millionaire,’ in which an industrialist whose face was never shown bestowed a million clams each week on an average Joe or Joline to change their lives. According to Wikipedia, the show went off the air in 1960 after a five-year run.

The Press story focuses on Jason Powell, 20, a 2005 R-FH graduate who was the first recipient of ‘Tipton’s’ largesse. Powell’s a junior at the University of Rochester majoring in Japanese; he plans to study in Japan in the fall. The scholarship, he says, helped him get on track after his mother died when he was 16.

Now, he gets mostly A’s and B’s in classes, and has become involved with the fencing team, the anime club and is president of the Pagan Students’ Community.

Without the financial assistance and support of those close to him, he admits, “I would probably be stuck somewhere in Jersey working a dead-end job.”

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