Friends of American Writers (FAW) President Anne Haines established the Foundation Fund during her term of office (1959-61). This special fund assured the members that there would always be funds to cover the annual awards. Through contributions of $100 or more, participating members increased the principal, with the interest being available at the discretion of the Board of Directors. This fund was generously boosted in 1961 by a $12,000 bequest by member Bess Harrington Cook.
The Foundation Fund as it exists today was established in October 1984 when almost $22,000 was transferred from the treasury of Friends of American Writers to an account designated as the Foundation Fund by President Jane Lederer, Treasurer Alice Lohrer and Trustees Corrinne Silver, Angeline Higginson and Geraldine Parker.
Bylaws for the Friends of American Writers were written to oversee this fund. Three FAW members are elected to serve as Foundation Fund Trustees to administer this money, which remains separate from the other FAW accounts.
Use of this money should reflect the mission of the organization - "to study American literature, to encourage high standards and to promote literary ideals among American writers." Foundation Fund money has been used through the years for education, training and scholarships for students of writing.
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Literary workshops were begun in 1985. Yearly, the Foundation Fund Trustees met with English faculty from the University of Illinois at Chicago to plan a writing workshop for students. A noted author was paid to meet all day with a select group of UIC students to teach writing skills. At the end of the day the author would give a lecture to the students, FAW members and the general public. These workshops were moved to Roosevelt University in 1990. Authors participating in this program included Sara Paretsky, Scott Turow and Garry Wills. This program was ended in 1998.
FOUNDATION FUND SCHOLARSHIPS
Annual student scholarships began in 1999. Interest money formerly used for the workshops was given to writing students selected by university faculty in the writing program. An annual scholarship was granted to a Roosevelt University student since beginning in 1999. The program was broadened to include National Louis University in 2002, and now Columbia College has been added. Each year the winning students and their faculty sponsors are invited to the November FAW luncheon to meet and briefly talk to the FAW membership.
National Louis University Scholarship Award
Columbia College Chicago Scholarship Award
Roosevelt University Scholarship Award