Francis P. Matthews and John E. Swift Educational Trust Scholarships

Francis P. Matthews, left, was supreme knight from 1939-45. John E. Swift was supreme knight from 1945-53.

Francis P. Matthews, left, was supreme knight from 1939-45. John E. Swift was supreme knight from 1945-53.

Delegates to the 62nd Supreme Council Meeting in August 1944 voted to establish an Educational Trust Fund by the raising of $1 million through a special per capita tax on the members of the Order

 Scholarships provided from the income of this Fund would become a living memorial to Knights who gave their lives for their country during World War II, or who became totally and permanently disabled through service incurred injuries. Originally these scholarships included tuition, room, board, books and fees.

These benefits were then extended in 1956, 1964, 1991 and 2004 to include other combat zones throughout the world (Korea, Vietnam, Cyprus, Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan). Delegates to the 1970 and 1971 Supreme Council Meetings also authorized additional changes.

Delegates to the 125th Supreme Council Meeting in August 2007, amended eligibility criteria and benefits effective Sept. 1, 2007, as follows:

  1. Educational Trust Scholarships are available to children of members in good standing who, while serving in the military forces of their country in a combat zone, specifically designated as such by the Board of Directors, are killed by hostile action or wounded by hostile action resulting within two years thereof in permanent and total disability.  Applications must be filed within two years of the death or determination of total and permanent disability of the member.

  2. Scholarships may also be awarded to children of members in good standing who are full-time law enforcement officers or full-time firefighters who, while in the lawful performance of their duties, died as a result of criminal violence directed at them. Applications must be filed within two years of the date of death of the member.

The term “children” shall include natural or adopted children of the deceased member who were born within nine months after the member died or, in the case of adoption, were adopted by the member before he suffered the fatal injury, or in the case of a member in the military, before he suffered the permanently and totally disabling injury. 

Benefits for which eligible children qualify shall be limited to tuition only, up to a maximum of $25,000 per year, but not room, board, books, fees, transportation, dues, computers or supplies. Tuition shall first be reduced by the amount of any scholarships or other grants to which the child shall be entitled.

All scholarships are governed by established rules of the Educational Trust Fund. The scholarship is to be used at any Catholic college of the student’s choice in the country of the member’s domicile at the time of death or disability.  Benefits should be applied for on a timely basis and an undergraduate degree achieved in a reasonable timeframe.

Information and applications are obtained from:
Department of Scholarships
Knights of Columbus
PO Box 1670
New Haven, CT 06507-0901