Community Education

Minerva Scholarship Fund now affiliated with GGHF

Posted on April 14th, 2023 By:

The Minerva Scholarship Fund is a scholarship fund under the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation, both organizations announced this week.

GGHF will be responsible for managing the fund in accordance with Minerva’s investment goals.

Minerva was established in 1991 by three members of the Gig Harbor branch of the American Association of University Women. Since the first scholarship, awarded in 1993, Minerva has granted 210 scholarships worth more than $500,000 to local women. Minerva is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization.

“Our board spent about two years evaluating the best course for the organization’s future. Guaranteeing that the fund would be perpetual and professionally managed – assuring scholarships supporting higher education for women from our community for generations to come — was a priority,” said Patty Nelson, Minerva’s outgoing president.

The foundation will provide professional fund management, administrative and compliance services, Greater Gig Harbor Foundation CEO Dr. Julie Ann Gustanski said.

That will “allow the Minerva board to focus on its work – to invest in women from our community facing barriers in completing their higher education goals by giving them opportunity, and empowering them to succeed so they, their families and our communities can thrive,” she added.

The Greater Gig Harbor Foundation, has raised and distributed over $17 million to support a range of community organizations, projects, and scholarships since 2006. It operates Curious by Nature School and supports the Gig Harbor Senior Center. The foundation has five core areas of focus: arts and culture, education, parks and environment, recreation, and social capital.

“Engaging GGHF, its professional investment management team and their full-time bookkeeping staff will allow the MSF board to concentrate on the primary focus of recruiting scholarship applicants, selecting the recipients and mentoring women in our community” said Julie Offner, incomingMinerva president. “GGHF uniquely serves our community, is a committed and respected community partner, and manages over $16 million in private funds and for other local organizations.”

The Minerva scholarship winners from 2022. From left, Minerva Scholars Sarah Whitmarsh, Delfina White, Sandy Kelley, Gail Henricksen and Megan Oberstar. Not pictured: Wendy Holt, Kristin Mauldin, Carli Speer, Tarra Winslow.