Tufts marks 10th anniversary of scholarship for Somerville students

June 7, 2016

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Robin Smyton

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MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (June 7, 2016) -- Tufts University is marking the 10th anniversary of the Doris W. York Endowed Scholarship Fund, which since 2006 has awarded more than $1 million in four-year, full-tuition scholarships to students in the top fifth of their Somerville High School classes.

The fund was endowed by the late Doris York, a Somerville native who was committed to furthering education.

"For the past 10 years, the Doris W. York Endowed Scholarship Fund has provided deserving students from Somerville High School with an opportunity to learn and grow at Tufts University," said Brooke Anderson, senior director of gift planning. "The fund continues not only the legacy of Doris York but also Tufts' close relationship with the Somerville community."

The fund has provided scholarships to eight recipients, including Somerville resident Deepika Bhargo, who graduated from Tufts in 2014 with a double major in quantitative economics and political science. Bhargo, who credits her parents for emphasizing the importance of education, now works as an analyst at a major financial services firm.

"I feel indebted to Tufts and to Doris York for the education that I received," she said. "I have no doubt that I am on a great career path because of the Doris York scholarship." Because of her experience, Bhargo hopes to establish her own scholarship at Tufts someday. "I am committed to giving back to Tufts so that others can enjoy the same opportunity that I enjoyed."

Doris York grew up in Somerville in the 1920s with a father who fought her interest in education. Against her father's wishes, the fiercely independent York attended college and law school. Never marrying, York invested her earnings from her career as a bank executive and passed away with an estate of $4 million. Upon her death, she willed identical $1.94 million gifts to Tufts and Boston University. York's executor speculated that the gifts were a form of payback against the father who did not support her.

The Doris W. York Endowed Scholarship Fund awards are granted by the Tufts Financial Aid Office to those chosen from among qualified applicants from Somerville High School with financial need who are accepted to Tufts.  No separate application is required. 

Tufts provides support to many students from the university's host communities. During the 2015-16 academic year, Tufts provided nearly $800,000 in need-based aid to 17 students from Somerville.

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Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university is widely encouraged.