The Wilson Scholarship: Celebrating Harrisburg and Etown College
May 31, 2020   //   By:   //   Campus and Community

Charlie Wilson, a 1969 graduate of Elizabethtown College and a longtime supporter of the Harrisburg School District, has found a way to make a positive impact benefitting both institutions.

By establishing the Charles D.A. Wilson ’69 Harrisburg School District Scholarship Fund at Elizabethtown College, Wilson hopes to inspire more students from the district to join the Blue Jay flock while providing the College with an added tool to recruit students from the Harrisburg metropolitan area.

Now retired, Wilson worked for 27 years in the Pennsylvania Senate where he retired as Chief of Staff for Senator Leonard Bodack and also worked as a realtor. A 30-year resident of the city, Wilson served for six years on the Harrisburg School District’s Board of Directors, two of those years as board vice president.

Wilson reconnected with the College a decade ago while working to develop and support the Elizabethtown College Peace Fellowship (ECPF). The ECPF is an organization of alumni, current and former faculty and staff, and friends of the College united by the belief in the enduring relevancy of the College’s historic commitment to peace and social justice.

Wilson served as ECPF’s president for three years, is on the ECPF selection committee for the annual Paul M. Grubb Jr. Student Peace Award, and has been instrumental in helping to develop, fund and promote the Dr. Eugene P. Clemens Award.

It was a lecture by Dr. Drew Hart, the 2019 Elizabethtown College Peace Fellow, that inspired Wilson to create the scholarship.

Dr. Hart, a peace scholar and professor of theology at Messiah College, spoke about white supremacy, Christianity, and the work of racial justice during his several-day residency on campus.

“(Dr. Hart) was challenging people to look at problems and try to deal with them,” Wilson said.

The Wilson Scholarship Fund will provide need-based financial aid scholarships to support students at Etown who have attended Harrisburg High School’s John Harris or SciTech campuses.

“I believe that the Harrisburg area is a great place from which to draw students,” Wilson said.

Students who receive the scholarship will be encouraged to enroll in the College’s Momentum program, which is offered to first-generation college students as a way to introduce them to the liberal arts and sciences and help them prepare for the academic expectations of college.

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