Buchanan Promise announces 50 percent increase in annual scholarship funding

Published 6:00 am Saturday, May 28, 2022

BUCHANAN — The Michigan Gateway Community Foundation presented the Buchanan community with a gift that will keep on giving Friday evening.

In a special video presentation during the Buchanan Class of 2022 commencement ceremony, the Buchanan-based nonprofit announced that starting with this year’s graduating class, the Buchanan Promise Award will receive a 50 percent increase in funds, much to the delight of everyone in attendance.

Going forward, graduating Buchanan seniors who reside in the Buchanan Community Schools district will now receive $3,750 per year for a total of $15,000 over the life of the scholarship, up from $2,500/$10,000 the previous five years.

“It is our goal to continue to make postsecondary education accessible to all eligible Buchanan Community Schools students,” said MCGF President and Buchanan native Michael Rowland. 

Since 2017, the Buchanan Promise has provided millions of dollars to assist students with tuition, fees or other costs associated with college. 

The Buchanan Promise is made possible through a permanently-endowed gift to the MGCF from the estate of the late Walter Schirmer, Jr., the son of the late Walter E. Schirmer, Sr., the former president of Buchanan-based Clark Equipment Company.

To be eligible for the maximum amount of $15,000, a graduate needs to have been enrolled in and lived in the district since kindergarten or first grade. Graduates who have attended school and lived in the district for a minimum of four years receive a scholarship equal to 70 percent of the grant, with a sliding scale for those in between.

The Promise is a first dollar scholarship, meaning that the scholarship amount is granted before a student’s other grant aid.

Recipients will have six years after high school graduation in which to use their funding and must meet certain requirements to continue receiving the scholarship. It will apply to all accredited two-or four-year degree programs as well as all certification or degree programs in the trades.

For more information on the Buchanan Promise, visit BuchananPromise.org or call (269) 695-3521.