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Deeley Foundation Scholarship

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Mr. and Mrs. Deeley were longtime residents of Waterbury before retiring to Virginia. Mr. Deeley worked as a tool-setter for Scovill Manufacturing Company, and Mrs. Deeley raised their children and was active in numerous volunteer organizations. Although neither of them had the opportunity to attend college, they continually emphasized two critical aspects of life. The first was the value of an education. The second was the obligation to give something back to the community. They sacrificed to ensure that their children would have an opportunity for higher education, yet they still found time to volunteer for community activities.

The Thomas and Elsie Deeley Foundation was established by their two children, Ted and Donna, in 1996 to memorialize the “helping hand” approach engendered by their parents. It is designated as a tax exempt 501(c)3 corporation by the Internal Revenue Service.

The Deeley Foundation offers assistance to eligible high school seniors who qualify for admission to a college or university but lack the financial resources to attend. These scholarships are based on the belief that personal involvement with recipients creates a tangible bond between the student and the donor. Hopefully this bond will encourage our scholarship recipients to offer personal support to someone else after they graduate by passing it along in the form of mentoring and/or financial assistance.

The scholarship was initially restricted to just those Sacred Heart seniors applying to Fairfield University because Fairfield had agreed to a matching arrangement. In 2002, the Deeley Foundation, in an effort to provide more students an educational opportunity, expanded the scholarship to include students applying to any four-year college or university. Quinnipiac University and the Deeley Foundation created a matching partnership in 2003 similar to the Fairfield University agreement. In 2004 the Deeley Foundation entered into a matching partnership with Southern Connecticut State University. In 2014, in response to rising college costs, the Deeley Foundation broadened its scope once again to include students applying to two-year colleges.

In 2015, the partnerships with Fairfield University and Quinnipiac University were expanded to offer FULL TUITION scholarships to students who meet certain financial need criteria. Then, in 2016, the Deeley Foundation instituted a scholarship partnership with Boston College, and in 2017 the FULL TUITION partnerships were extended to include the University of Bridgeport, Sacred Heart University, and the University of Saint Joseph. Also in 2017, the Deeley Foundation and the Central Connecticut State University Foundation and Western Connecticut State University Foundation entered into a matching partnership similar to the existing arrangement with the Southern Connecticut State University Foundation.

Since its inception in 1996, The Thomas and Elsie Deeley Foundation has funded over $1,500,000 worth of scholarships for 48 Sacred Heart High School students. These scholarship recipients have a 95% college graduation rate.

The Deeley Foundation provides financial support to 8-12 college students for each academic year. The schools represented by these students include the University of Connecticut, Quinnipiac University, Fairfield University, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Southern Connecticut State University, Central Connecticut State University, The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Boston University, Gordon College, Coastal Carolina University, St. John’s University, the University of Rhode Island, Williams College, and Hampton University.

Applications for the Deeley Foundation Scholarship can be completed online at