It was Quincy Crawford’s 65th birthday, and his wife, Genie, wasn’t sure what to get him.
“It’s really hard to come up with new ideas after all these years,” she laughed, thinking of the 47 years she and Quincy have enjoyed together since meeting in high school.
But Quincy made it easy for her. To mark the occasion, he told her what he wanted most of all was to honor his alma mater with a birthday gift that would literally keep on giving: a fully endowed scholarship to Frostburg State University for promising students with high SAT scores and an interest in leadership studies.
And so the Quincy and Eugenia Crawford Scholarship Fund was born.
It’s an act of philanthropy that reflects many elements of the Crawfords’ memories and experiences with Frostburg, including their humble beginnings there as students, when working their way through school was the only way they could afford their college degrees.
“Both of us grew up rather poor, and we were actually discouraged from going to college because that didn’t really happen in our families,” Genie said. “Since we had to pay for it ourselves, Frostburg was the only place we could afford.”
“It was a scholarship at FSU, the one where they waive your tuition if you agree to teach for three years in the public schools, that enabled me to go to college and changed everything for me,” Quincy said. “We feel like by creating this scholarship, we are upholding a tradition of helping kids like that. Kids who are deserving, who are on the ball, but who have an economic need.”
Quincy and Genie also cite their lifelong friendships with fellow Bobcats as reasons they feel so connected to FSU and want to give back.
“Some of our best friends to this day are people we met and graduated with at Frostburg,” Quincy said. “We attend an annual crab feast with my fraternity. We’ve gotten together for 40 years and follow each other’s careers, children and grandchildren.”
Many alums from the Crawfords’ era went on to fill notable leadership positions in politics, education and business. It was important to Quincy that the Quincy and Eugenia Crawford Scholarship Fund benefit students with the potential to go on and do similar things with their lives.
“I wanted to be able to help attract quality students to Frostburg who could end up becoming leaders in their communities and reflect well on the university,” he said.
To be considered for the Quincy and Eugenia Crawford Scholarship Fund, in addition to having an SAT score in the upper 25th percentile, the student must have a demonstrated economic need and be interested in pursuing a minor in leadership studies.
The focus on leadership is a specification that is also in line with the Crawfords’ other philanthropic interests at FSU, including their support of the Sloop Leadership Institute. Scholarship recipients get full tuition for one year, and if they do well, the scholarship is renewed, leading to a possibility of free college tuition for all four years. They will carry the distinction of being known as “Crawford Scholars.”
It’s a legacy in student enrichment that makes Quincy feel like he’s helping keep the momentum going under FSU President Jonathan Gibralter’s administration.
“The energy and direction Jon has infused in that university has been needed for some time,” he said. “I like what he’s doing and I like what’s happening. I wanted to help in some way.”
The FSU Foundation has embarked on a $15 million comprehensive campaign, Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg, to raise badly needed funding for higher education in Western Maryland. Donations to the Foundation support student scholarships and programs, academic programs, faculty development and other critical University needs. For more information about supporting FSU, visit www.frostburg.edu/admin/foundation or call 301-687-4161.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 13 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu.