Patrick and Eileen Smyth Endowed Scholarship
Patrick and Eileen Smyth, from County Monaghan and County Cork, Ireland, respectively, along with their son Brian, immigrated to the United States in the mid-1950’s. After attending high school, college, and graduate school in Ohio, and after serving in the US Army, Brian Smyth moved to California in the early 1970’s where he had a successful career in Information Technology management.
In the 1990’s, Brian’s daughter Courtney was admitted to and enrolled at Cal Poly SLO. Sadly, Courtney died in 1999 at age 21, a quarter short of her Cal Poly graduation. Brian established the Courtney Elizabeth Smyth Endowed Scholarship in memory of his daughter in 2000, which supports students who have overcome personal tragedy, adversity, or hardship and have succeeded in pursuing their academic goals.
During her college years, Courtney had begun to take an interest in Irish literature, culture, and history, and one of Brian’s major regrets is that he postponed the opportunity to take his daughter back to visit Ireland, the home of her grandparents. Brian has always been grateful for the decision his parents took to risk everything to immigrate to the US and thus to provide their son with opportunities in the US that he does not believe would have been available to him if they had remained in Ireland. As such, Brian would like to honor his parents and “complete the circle” by establishing the Patrick and Eileen Smyth Endowed Scholarship, with the purpose of alternately 1) fulfilling the missed opportunity with Courtney by providing financial assistance for a Cal Poly student to immerse themselves in the literature, culture, and history of Ireland attending an accredited institution in either the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland and/or the six counties of Northern Ireland; and 2) providing financial assistance for an Irish national student to attend Cal Poly SLO so as to experience the love that Courtney had for Cal Poly, SLO, and the sunshine of the California Coast and the opportunities in the USA that the Smyth family benefited from.
Eligibility & Qualifications
The scholarship is open to all eligible applicants, subject to the following criteria:
- Open to Cal Poly students intending to participate in a Cal Poly approved for-credit Study Abroad Program located in any of the twenty-six counties of the Republic of Ireland and/or the six counties of Northern Ireland
- Open to international students intending to attend Cal Poly who are Irish Nationals. Preference will be given to Irish students who are traveling abroad to study at Cal Poly (rather than already living in the U.S.)
- Preference is for students who are studying abroad on an immersive program. This may include those studying abroad for a longer period of time, or those involved in a program that is a uniquely immersive Irish experience OR Irish students attending Cal Poly for a quarter, year or to complete their degree
- The scholarship is not renewable; however, current or past recipients may apply for consideration if they continue to meet scholarship selection criteria
- The scholarship is open to students in all majors and all class levels
- Recommended minimum GPA is 3.0
- Preference is for students with financial need
How to Apply
- From your My Cal Poly Portal
apps, click 'Cal Poly Scholarships.'
- Complete the General Scholarship Application, being sure to answer the question "Do you plan on participating in a study abroad program in the upcoming year" with an answer of "Yes." This will direct you to answer supplemental scholarship questions related to study abroad scholarships after you complete the general scholarship application.
- Complete the General and Study Abroad scholarship applications. Even though some fields are not marked as required, you are encouraged to complete the application in its entirety in order to be considered for the widest range of scholarships. Be sure to click 'Save and Keep Editing' frequently.
- Your eligibility for scholarships will be based on your answers to the questions in both the General and Study Abroad scholarship application.
- When you compose your scholarship essay, be sure to discuss how you specifically are a good candidate for this particular award.
Scholarship Award Amount
One annual award of up to $7,500 is available