Bonus Tip! Don’t Take Too Many Liberties with a Scholarship’s Namesake

A lot of you guys already know that the first scholarship program of the 16 that I started was the Dale E. Fridell Scholarship program in 2003. Dale Fridell was my grandfather, and he died of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2001. Shortly afterward, I established a $1,000 college scholarship in his name.

Josh & Grandpa, circa 1974-1975

Inevitably, students make reference to my grandfather in their essays, and that’s fine. I’ve enjoyed hearing the reverential comments about him from students across the globe. But to be honest with you, some of them went a bit too far for my comfort level (and I’m a guy with a very wiiiiiiiiide comfort level).

Some applicants have said they knew that my grandfather would approve of me if I gave them the scholarship (thanks, weirdo, but you have no idea if that’s true), and others even said they felt a spiritual connection to him beyond the grave (if so, then please ask him if he’s got a message for my grandma, who is still alive and I’m certain would love to hear from him!).

Maybe I’m too sensitive, but that stuff creeps me out a little, and I doubt I’m the only one. That’s my grandfather you’re talking about and pretending to know, when you didn’t know him at all. Those statements are a bit out of line if you ask me, and, unfortunately, you ARE asking me — for money, no less. 🙂 If you want to tell me that you’ve read about my grandfather and that you believe he was a good man — now you’re talking. But don’t tell me you’re talking to his ghost.

  • Speaking of scholarships named after people, the Jackie Robinson Foundation offers a nice little four-year scholarship to minority students, if you fit that bill. The criteria isn’t terribly rigorous — a 21 ACT score or a 1,000 SAT score — so that’s a plus for applicants.  It’s too late to apply for this year’s award, but you juniors should keep an eye on this one if you’re a member of a minority group.

Have a good rest of the day, chaps. I’m going to eat leftover pizza with the wife and kids.

“Judge Josh” Barsch

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