Columbia University has announced the Dyckman Institute Scholarship Fund winners for the 2005/2006 academic year. The Dyckman Institute Scholarship provides financial support to outstanding students from the Washington Heights/Inwood area who attend Columbia College. This year's recipients are first-year Arcania Gracia, sophomore Vera Tseylikman, junior Brenda Cepeda and senior Katherine Paez. "I think it is wonderful that students from our area, a quintessential urban neighborhood, will have the experience of attending Columbia College," said Ross A. Frommer, deputy vice president for government and community affairs and associate dean at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), located in Washington Heights. "Perhaps after graduation one of them may return to Washington Heights to further their education at CUMC and become a scientist, doctor, dentist, nurse, or public health professional."
The Dyckman Institute Scholarship supports Columbia's need-based financial aid program and helps make it possible for students from northern Manhattan, who may not otherwise be able to afford the full cost of attending college, to attend Columbia.
"We are delighted that Arcania, Vera, Brenda, and Katherine have chosen to attend Columbia," said David Charlow, associate dean of student affairs and director of financial aid at Columbia College. "I strongly encourage all high school seniors who are interested in Columbia to apply regardless of their financial circumstances."
Martin Collins, chair of Community Board 12, conveyed his congratulations to the scholarship winners. "We recognize the level of academic excellence these students have achieved and join in congratulating them and wishing them well as they continue their education at Columbia College," he said. "We also thank Columbia University and the Dyckman Scholarship for the opportunity this program creates for high school students from Washington Heights/Inwood to receive a first-class college education." Community Board 12 will meet the scholarship recipients at the Board's general meeting on October 26.
The Dyckman Institute Scholarship is one of 300 individual need-based scholarships available to Columbia students. Its origins can be traced to Alexander Hamilton, one of Columbia's most illustrious students. Hamilton's widow, Eliza, donated the building and land for the Hamilton Free School -- the first school in Washington Heights -- in 1818. In 1860, the school became the Dyckman Library, the first free public library in upper Manhattan. During the early 1920s, the Library became the Dyckman Institute, which operated both a museum devoted to local archaeology in Inwood Hill Park and a publishing house. The trustees of the Institute decided to dissolve it in 1943 and establish a scholarship fund at Columbia College for Washington Heights/Inwood students.
In the current academic year, more than 50 undergraduate students from Washington Heights/Inwood are receiving over $550,000 in need-based scholarships from Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. Students from the Washington Heights/Inwood area, regardless of where they attend high school, who are interested in learning more about Columbia College and the Dyckman Institute Scholarship should contact the Admissions Office at (212) 854-2522 or go to http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/admissions/.