Mary Gertrude Smith Boddie Scholarship Award

Boddie FamilyIn 1904, Mary Gertrude Smith Boddie was the first student of color to graduate from what is today East Stroudsburg University; she was also the first African American to graduate in a Pennsylvania State Normal School.

This scholarship has been established to assist in the retention of matriculated full-time students of color at ESU.

Scholarships will be awarded to four students during this event.

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."

Boddie Scholarship Application

This is an application for the Mary Gertrude Smith Boddie Scholarship. This scholarship is named for Mary Gertrude Smith Boddie, who, in 1904, was the first black student to graduate from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. There will be four scholarships, each in the amount of $3,350.00, that will be awarded to four students and credited to the Spring, 2021 semester. Winners are chosen based on individuals who demonstrate, through community service work or university involvement, a commitment to Dr. King’s philosophy of non-violence, equality, justice, cultural diversity, and a respect for humanity.

Undergraduate students of color who meet the criteria will be eligible to compete for this scholarship annually. The recipient will be selected and notified by the Scholarship Committee in early December and the scholarship award will be presented at the 24th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Breakfast on Monday, January 18, 2021.

*Please note, previous Boddie Scholarship awardees are not eligible to apply.

Application Deadline Date: October 23, 2020


  • Award is available to undergraduate students of color.
  • At least a full-time sophomore (30 semester hour credits or more completed) at the time of application.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  • An essay of no less than 250 words that describes how your commitment to non-violence, equality, justice, cultural diversity and respect for humanity is demonstrated through community and/or university involvement.
  • One recommendation letter that describes your community service work or university involvement is required. Please have recommendation letters sent to
  • Submit one page biography of yourself.
  • Award is contingent upon submission of a completed FAFSA and demonstrated financial need.
  • An applicant who receives a tuition waiver does not qualify.
  • Good social standing on campus as per ESU student code of conduct.
  • To confirm receipt of scholarship application email

Note: Save your document with the following information: First Initial, Last name, and document type (i.e. Mary Smith MSmithessay and MSmithbio)

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Contact Information

Campus Address
96 Normal Street
(570) 422-3896
(570) 422-3897 (Fax)
Title of Department Leader
Multicultural Affairs
(570) 422-3961