Scholarship Information

Minnie Rob Phaup Scholarship

The Minnie Rob Phaup Scholarship was established by an anonymous donor in memory of Dr. Phaup, a former member of the Mary Washington College faculty and the Department of Psychology. This scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding psychology majors for either their junior or senior year at the college.

The fund which supports the scholarship was started in 1961. However, it was not until the 1974/75 academic year that the first scholarship was awarded. Applications are accepted by the psychology faculty in the spring semester. The number of scholarships awarded in a given year is determined by the quality of the applications as well as by the amount of available funds. Awards are made on the basis of merit in a variety of scholastic and professional categories.

Minnie Rob Phaup, a native of Richmond, was a 1927 graduate of the College of William and Mary, where she majored in both English and French. In 1930, she received a master’s degree in philosophy and psychology from the University of Chicago. In 1956, she received a second master’s degree in psychology, this time from George Washington University. In 1960, she received her Ph.D. in psychology from the same George Washington University. Her dissertation was entitled: “A Study of the Self Concepts of a Group of Women Patients Who, Though Clinically in Remission, Remain in a Mental Hospital.”

Dr. Phaup taught English at Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond from 1931-45. From 1945-48, she taught psychology at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In 1948, she moved to Wells College in Aurora, New York to teach psychology. She stayed at Wells College until 1953, when she moved to the psychology faculty at Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1955, she gave up her position at Queens College in order to finish work on her Ph.D. at George Washington University. Dr. Phaup joined the Mary Washington College faculty in September, 1959. After only being at the college just barely a year, Dr. Phaup became ill and died in December, 1960 at the age of 54. This scholarship was established to honor Dr. Phaup for her lifelong dedication to scholarship and learning.

Topher Bill Scholarship

J. Christopher (Topher) Bill joined the faculty of Mary Washington College as an assistant professor of psychology in 1972. He was appointed to the rank of professor in 1987 and served as chair of the department from 1983 to 1997. He died suddenly on December 2, 2001.

Topher specialized in several areas of psychology, including perception, sports, law, and especially statistics. He was well-known among students as both a presence in the classroom and a dedicated friend and mentor outside of the classroom. In 1997, he received the Grellet C. Simpson Award for excellence in teaching. The Topher Bill Scholarship was established immediately after his death by his students and the psychology department faculty. This scholarship recognizes Topher’s dedication to academic excellence, the department of psychology, and – especially – his students.

In 2004, the department began the tradition of the Topher Bill Scholarship Auction, which helps to fund a growing number of scholarships and supports a community non-profit organization selected by student members of the department Psi Chi chapter.

Burney Lynch Parkinson Scholarship

In 2003, Elizabeth Poteet Pollard endowed a scholarship to honor Dr. Burney Lynch Parkinson, a professor of psychology at Mary Washington College from 1952 until his retirement in 1956. Elizabeth Poteet Pollard graduated from Mary Washington College in 1956 with majors in psychology and elementary education. Mrs. Pollard loved her days at Mary Washington College and feels the university (and especially Dr. Parkinson) positively influenced her life. She is also very appreciative of a scholarship she received as a student.

This scholarship is awarded annually to one rising junior or senior psychology major. Applications are accepted by the psychology faculty in the spring semester. The amount of the award varies, depending on available funds.

The criteria for receiving this scholarship are performance both specifically in psychology and overall (you must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to qualify), demonstrated financial need (this will be documented by the Office of Financial Aid), and intention to teach. Students need not currently be certifying to teach, but they must be able to explain how teaching fits into their future career plans in order to be considered eligible to receive this scholarship.

To learn more about these scholarships and more, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 540-654-2468 or finaid@umw.edu.